Monday, 9 January 2012

Battle of the sexes comes to the Belgrade Theatre with Nora

Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre starts its Spring 2012 season in style with its production of Nora, which will run in the B2 auditorium from Sat 28 Jan to Sat 18 Feb.

Nora is the celebrated director and writer Ingmar Bergman’s acclaimed adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House – one of the best-loved dramas in literature. A Doll’s House caused huge controversy when it was first performed in 1879, and the story remains an astonishingly significant comment on the role of women in society.

The story focuses on Nora Helmer, a seemingly content and carefree housewife with beautiful children, an elegant house and a loving husband who has just won a big promotion at work. But Nora is hiding a secret, and when that secret is out the whole thing will come crashing down.

Director Patricia Benecke, said, “Nora takes you on a dramatic emotional journey full of twists and turns, but it is also an uplifting story about a woman who makes a life changing decision to break out of her world to explore who she really is. And although Nora’s story is over 130 years old, it’s a timeless tale that deals with a number of issues that are still hugely relevant today, including the role of women in society, and how easy it is to fall into roles and into restrictive power balances within relationships.”

Patricia added, “Ingmar Bergman's version of Ibsen's classic is beautifully pared down and helps us focus primarily on the dynamics of the relationships between the adult characters, the ways they communicate with each other and Nora’s personal struggle for identity. Naomi Dawson’s elegant set design will create a psychological, dream like space enhancing the elemental nature of the play.”

The role of Nora will be played by Penny Layden who returns to the Belgrade after appearing in the theatre’s production of The Dice House in 2001. The cast also includes Stuart Laing who many will recognise from his time in EastEnders where he was involved in one of the BBC soaps most controversial storylines, which saw his character Rob Minter kidnap Dawn Swann, played by Kara Tointon in a bid to steal her baby.

The cast also includes David Michaels as Nora’s husband Torvald, Sanchia McCormack as Christine Linde and Peter Lindford as Dr Rank.

The battle of the sexes and the role of women in the family are further explored in the Belgrade’s production of August Strindberg’s The Father, which was written as a response to A Doll’s House.

Starting with an explosive power struggle between a married couple, both plays move towards equally devastating but radically different outcomes. The Father will run on the Belgrade’s Main Stage from 31 Mar to 14 Apr.

Tickets for Nora are available now from the Belgrade Theatre’s box office on 024 7655 3055 or via  priced from £8.25 to £19.25. Cheaper tickets are available online.

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