Thursday, February 24th, 2022

Queerguru’s Ris Fatah is spellbound by David Hoyle’s queer reimagining of Ibsen’s HEDDA


Hedda (after Ibsen) is the cinematic, theatrical, queer re-imagining of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s classic play from 1891, Hedda Gabler. Created, written, and directed by Jen Heyes, the play stars the UK’s avant-garde, national treasure, David Hoyle. This 21st Century interpretation of the play takes us on an hour’s journey into a sad, slightly surreal, yet very relevant space.

Ibsen’s play is famous for its literary realism. We are introduced to Hedda as she returns to her house after a six-month honeymoon with her new husband, an academic called George. Hedda is bored and also thinks she married beneath herself. She only got married because she feared being left on the shelf. She feels trapped in a marriage and in a house she doesn’t want, and that the couple can’t really afford. Her best friend Thea is happily going out with one of George’s associates, Eilert, another academic who Hedda once dated, whom is now rather more successful. Hedda is very jealous of Thea and uses her many character flaws, including her obsessive selfishness, to sabotage Thea.

This unusual one-man show has Hoyle playing both Hedda and Ibsen and challenges traditional ideas around femininity and patriarchy. In an innovative scene, Hedda confronts Ibsen about his portrayal of her in the play. Hoyle is the perfect person to play the selfish, scheming, manipulative Hedda and he successfully manages to shine her dark light into all of us to highlight any of our own unsavory traits. Hoyle’s commanding stage presence (he never needs anyone else on stage with him), combines well with Heyes’ excellent direction as well as beautiful innovative cinematography and animation. There is a great soundtrack of new compositions by Tom Parkinson, well sung by Hoyle. Hoyle’s penetrating stare to the camera, dressed in a Rick Owens dress and wearing a gilded bird’s cage over his head (symbolizing Hedda’s trapped state), will stick with you after the performance. An enjoyable innovative piece of work that sits slightly outside established entertainment genres. Refreshing.

HEDDA is streaming online at SOHO THEATRE, LONDON


Review: Ris Fatah 

Queerguru Contributing Editor Ris Fatah is a successful fashion/luxury business consultant  (when he can be bothered) who divides and wastes his time between London and Ibiza. He is a lover of all things queer, feminist, and human rights in general. @ris.fatah

Posted by queerguru  at  16:48


Genres:  drama

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