site search by freefind advanced

 Connecting professional and amateur theatre in Newbury, West Berkshire and beyond

Box Theatre Company - A Doll's House

3rd to 6th April 2002.

From the Newbury Weekly News.

Pulled off with professionalism

'A DOLL'S HOUSE', performed by The Box theatre company, at the Watermill Theatre, April 3 to Saturday, April 6

I will admit to approaching this production with a certain amount of trepidation. For an amateur group to tackle this classic play, you had to wonder if it was a wise choice. After all, the central character of Nora is on stage for almost two hours.

However, in Sanna Nobbs (Nora) we were treated to a brilliant performance. From the childish, spoilt young wife in the first act through the mounting anxiety of the second act and the searing conclusion in the final act, she shone like a star.

Ben Myers as Torvold gave a sturdy performance as the domineering husband and managed to deliver some of the most non-PC lines in theatre with a mixture of gravitas and humour which had the audience both chuckling and wincing at the same time.

Mrs Linde, played by Tracey Donnelly, gave a strong and measured portrait of the widow back in town to re-establish herself and proved an excellent foil to Nora's skittishness.

Edward Roberts as Dr. Rank was also solid and believable as a man bound up with his own mortality and unrequited love, while John Chapman played Krogstad with a nervous edginess that was ideal for the role. Although in many ways the villain of the piece, there was a decency about him that came through sufficiently enough to temper my desire to hiss every time he appeared on stage!

The part of Anna, the elderly nanny, played by Paul Isherwood, was a surprise. Why cast a man as a woman? However, it was a testament to his performance that my initial bemusement soon disappeared and I accepted him as Anna.

The imaginative set gave a strong sense of time and place, as did the costumes. One criticism was that the lighting seems a little too subdued at times and audibility was occasionally a problem. Having said that, this was a thoroughly professional production of which the director Duncan Mack should be very proud.