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Hedda Gabler @ Melville Theatre

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by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce (subscribe)
Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at:
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The title character of Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler is commonly referred to as the "female Hamlet" in theatre circles, given her strong and complicated nature and an energy both attractive and destructive.
Olivia Darby plays the title role in Hedda Gabler

She chooses to marry a kind, bumbling academic but, even on her honeymoon, feels trapped in a world where she feels only contempt and wonders what her chances are for a fulfilling life unless she has courage as well as passion.

Described as one of Ibsen's most famous masterpieces, Hedda Gabler was first performed in 1891, became a major sensation on Broadway in 1902 and won 1992 and 2006 Laurence Olivier Awards for best revival.

Director Kirilee Lennerts studied Ibsen's work while in high school and says Hedda Gabler is one of her favourite plays by the Norwegian author.

I immediately fell in love with his style of writing and what was actually being said between the lines," she said.

Hedda is a fascinating character, as are the others, and not a conventional woman of the late 1800s. Matched together, the story is explosive."

Involved in theatre since high school, Lennerts has performed with several theatres in the past seven years including Garrick, Limelight, Melville and Blak Yak Theatres and also has a bachelor of arts in contemporary performance.

She made her directing debut at Melville Theatre last with Zastrozzi and is pleased Hedda Gabler is giving her another opportunity to direct.

Ibsen is one of the most studied playwrights and I imagine many people will come to see Hedda Gabler with their own interpretation of what Ibsen should be," Lennerts said.

The challenge is to stage a play people will enjoy, even though it may not be how they imagined."

Hedda Gabler plays at 8pm, July 13, 14, 18, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28 with a 2pm matinee July 22. Tickets are $18, $14 concession book on 9330 4565 or email

Melville Theatre is on the corner of Stock Road and Canning Highway, Palmyra. More information is available at
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Why? Ibsen's greatest play
When: 8:00pm, matinee at 2:00pm
Phone: 9330 4565
Where: Corner of Stock Road and Canning Highway, Palmyra
Cost: $18 & $14
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