Hedda Gabler returns, dissatisfied, from a long honeymoon. Bored by her aspiring-academic husband, she foresees a life of tedious convention. And so, aided and abetted by her predatory confidante, Judge Brack, she begins to manipulate the fates of those around her to devastating effect.
"Brian Friel's new version—taking liberties that only a master playwright might—invests Ibsen's social realist original with psychological realism, presenting the harridan's gradual mental breakdown as a physiological consequence of an entirely inflexible social milieu. Friel finds wry humour in historical hindsight; however, while the dated attitudes of Hedda's husband, lovers and lady companions provoke laughter from a contemporary audience, Hedda's final actions become an almost logical defense against a world that refuses her agency. Crucially, they still have the capacity to shock." —Irish Times. "[Brian Friel] has taken Ibsen's play and given it his own twist. His translation enlivens the dialogue between the characters, gives the play energy and brings out a wry and dark humour for a modern audience." —RTE.ie