Hedda Gabler - Almeida Theatre 2005
Opened 16 March 2005
Written: by Henrik Ibsen In a new version by Richard Eyre
Directed: Richard Eyre
Cast: Eve Best (Hedda Tesman), Benedict Cumberbatch (George Tesman), Lisa Dillon (Thea Elvsted), Iain Glen (Judge Brack), Jamie Sives (Eilert Loevborg) and Gillian Raine (Juliana Tesman).
Synopsis: Set in the Norwegian home of George and Hedda Tesman near the turn of the twentieth century, Ibsen's Hedda Gabler reveals a woman struggling in a world that is, for her, devoid of excitement and enchantment. Filled with a lust for life, Hedda is consumed with a passion that is uncontrolable within the confines of her bourgeois existence.
What the critics had to say.....
NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "The dominant impression is of a Hedda Gabler full of sound and fury but without any deeper aspects."PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, "[Eve]Best is sensationally good. Her Hedda is so achingly alive with deadliness and so unsentimentally poignant in the way she shows you the underlying vulnerability of the manipulative, socially conditioned bully." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "...fine new production, Eve Best gives us a dazzlingly ironic Hedda: one aware of life's absurdity and viewing it with a mixture of dark humour and angry exasperation." ALASTAIR MACAULAY for THE FINANCIAL TIMES says, "Everything here about Best is so right - except that I just don't believe her. She looks like a general's daughter; she exhibits ambition, snobbery, impulsiveness, force, class, malice, posture, rage - she can even be kittenish. But each fine actorly decision is over-inflected: in particular, she likes suddenly to shout and rush halfway across the room - sometimes when a much smaller change of vocal tone or shift of body angle would reveal far more." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "This is a wonderful production of Ibsen's magnificent play, and one that confirms Best as a truly great actress." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, " Eve Best more than fulfils the promise....She does little or nothing sensational, but she’s emotionally fascinating from the moment she glides wearily onstage."
Production photos by John Haynes