Review: A Doll’s House

Thursday 21st March 2024

An outstanding performance of Ibsen’s masterpiece, A Doll’s House, was given in the Ellis Theatre last week by an exceptionally committed and talented group of Lower Sixth actors.

Mimi E flourished in the demanding title role of Nora – a two-and-a-half-hour workout during which she never leaves the stage. Mimi displayed not only an unfalteringly high level of energy, but also a firm control over the gradual transformation of her bubbling, girlish exuberance into the tragic stoicism with which she ended the performance.

She was expertly supported by Santo T as her exacting patriarchal husband Torvald, who managed to find a chilling cruelty with kindness and to delicately tread the line between love and abuse. Equally impressive was Anfisa W in the challenging role of Mrs Linde, successfully communicating the innate suffering of this character through subtleties of inflection. Jamie B and Jomei G gave convincing performances in opposition as Krogstad and Dr Rank with clearly crafted qualities of intimidation and fragility respectively, while Dora W gave such a natural and sensitive portrayal of Anne-Marie that she left the audience yearning to see more of her. Remove pupils Grace F and Arthur K adeptly completed the household as the two service characters, and the production was stage-managed by Beverly W with unwavering competence.

David Kenworthy’s intricate direction made sophisticated use of Paul Cox’s multiple perspective set design, enhanced by the ambient lighting design of Jasmine Butler, the detailed period costumes of Dale Armitage and Claire Allott, and a poignant sound design by Michael Butterfield.

19th century naturalism is a difficult genre to master, but these young actors commanded it admirably and the audience left having been utterly transfixed and transported throughout the evening.

Jane Darby, Drama Department

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