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Hedda Gabler

The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre

December 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12 1992

Hedda Gabler

by Henrik Ibsen

Directed in a new adaptation by
Bob Ryder

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“Hedda bubbles at the Barn”
– Shoreham Herald ––


David Creedon – George Tesman

Judith Berrill – Hedda Tesman

Sheila Wright – Miss Juliana Tesman

Liz Gibson – Berta

Jo Hopper – Mrs Elvsted

Peter McGhie – Judge Brack

David Stenning – Eilert Levborg


Production Crew

Assistant DirectorJamie Boath

Stage ManagerDave Collis

SetBrian Box

SetDave Collis

SetDave Comber

SetMike Davy

SetRalph Dawes

SetFrances Thorne

SetSheila Neesham

PropsMargaret Davy

Props Sue Whittaker

CostumesMargaret Faggetter

CostumesVal Dymock

Lighting & SoundJamie Boath

Lighting & SoundAndy Chalk

Lighting & SoundFrances Thorne

ContinuityJean Porter

PublicityJudith Atkinson

PublicityJamie Boath

PublicityAnne Donkin

PublicityJean Porter

PhotographyGeorge Laye

Box OfficeJill Redman

Front of House ManagerMargaret Murrell


Programme Note #1: Hedda Gabler

Programme Notes: “Exactly a hundred years ago, Hedda Gabler had its first English tour. It came first to Brighton, where the author Henry James travelled over from Rye to see it, he wrote glowingly about the power of the play in performance and he became one of the biggest admirers of the playwright, the Norwegian Henrik Ibsen. But such supporters then were few. In England, as all over Europe, Hedda Gabler usually scandalised the audience – ‘a bad escape of immoral sewage gas’, one newspaper called it, ‘crawling with the foulest passions’!

[web ed: research reveals that the review was in Pictorial World: “Hideous nightmare of pessimism … The play is simply a bad escape of moral sewage-gas … Hedda’s soul is a-crawl with the foulest passions of humanity”]

Like Ibsen’s earlier masterpieces Ghosts and A Doll’s House, Hedda Gabler broke all the conventions of the time – by showing characters with life-like personalities and feelings, all struggling with situations uncomfortably real. In Hedda Gabler Ibsen took two further risks. First, he did away with long flowing speeches, in which the characters explain exactly what they are thinking and he created instead, short realistic dialogue, in which the audience has to ‘read between the lines’ to understand the characters. Audiences in the 1890’s found this new approach very unsettling but the style has influenced good modern theatre ever since – in fact, we now almost come to expect it. Secondly, Ibsen created in the central figure of Hedda a character so wayward and complex that, in the past, audiences were just plain horrified at the way she behaved. A century on, however, the world has caught up with Ibsen. Now we are much closer to understanding the turmoil of the young woman’s mind as she struggles with a life in which she feels increasingly trapped.

In presenting this production of Hedda Gabler, Wick Theatre Company believe that we have, as nearly as possible in Bob Ryder’s completely new adaptation, a text which is as fresh to a modern audience as it must have been to Ibsen’s public a hundred years ago. There have been many translations of Ibsen this century, but only rarely has anyone managed to capture the natural tone of his dialogue, the differences in the way that each character speaks, and the rhythm and vigour of the original Norwegian language. Wick are therefore very pleased to be presenting the premiere of this new English version of Hedda Gabler, which so successfully does all of these things.

The Wick Theatre Company is keen to build up and widen its appeal to audiences. We would be very interested to know your views about tonight’s production – and whether, for example, you would like to see more classic drama at the Barn, or indeed any other type of production.

We are also pleased to welcome new members. As well as acting opportunities with the Wick there are plenty of technical and support activities involved in our productions, and we have a very full calendar of social events. We can also offer some popular ‘workshop’ events for members of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to learn more about stage techniques. For more details, please see overleaf.”