A Doll’s House, Part 2 playwright, Lucas Hnath. Photo courtesy Belfry Theatre

Belfry continues Ibsen tale with updated production

A Doll’s House, Part 2 runs Sept. 16-Oct. 14 at the Belfry Theatre

Timothy Collins

Monday Magazine contributor

The Belfry Theatre is poised to bring an iconic character back to its Mainstage when A Doll’s house, Part 2 opens to Victoria audiences on Sept. 16.

It’s the continuation of Nora Helmer’s story; a story first brought to life in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. That play opened in December 1879 and reflected the issues of a married woman who, at the time, lacked any reasonable opportunities for self-fulfillment in a male-dominated world.

A Dolls House ended with Nora leaving her keys and wedding ring behind and walking out of the house, slamming the door behind her.

In that story, the question of whether Nora ever comes back is left to the audience to ponder.

With A Doll’s House, Part 2, American playwright Lucas Hnath continues the tale, beginning with a knock on the door.

Nora has returned some 15 years later with an urgent request that her husband, Torvald, sign the legal papers that will finalize their divorce. She is now a successful feminist novelist and her return stirs recriminations and a re-evaluation of the controversy that arose as a result of her departure.

The play has been hailed as a brilliant contemporary classic that manages to continue Nora’s story with a decidedly modern perspective. It’s been described as “smart, funny and utterly engrossing” and has managed to revisit the questions of equality and self worth that Ibsen raised more than a century ago.

The play has received nominations for the 2017 Outer Critics Circle Awards: Outstanding New Broadway Play, Outstanding Actress in a Play and Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play.

As a result of its Broadway run, the play received eight 2017 Tony Award nominations: Best Play, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play (Chris Cooper), Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play, Best Direction of a Play and Best Costume Design of a Play.

Michael Shamata, artistic director for the Belfry and director of the local production, described it as being entirely within the scope of what the local company has always tried to achieve.

“For the past 35 years, the Belfry Theatre and its audiences have been on a journey through the best of contemporary theatre,” he said.

“The theatre has a crucial role in the cultural ecology of our region. We recognize our responsibility as an artistic leader within Victoria, nurturing and supporting many of the artists and theatre companies within our community.”

Shamata believes this latest offering is a perfect response to that responsibility.

“It is simply stunning. The intellectual excitement is palpable, as arguments around gender, marriage and family are turned upside down and inside out.”

A Doll’s House, Part 2 opens at the Belfry on Sept. 16 and runs to Oct. 14.

It features Martha Burns as Nora, Benedict Campbell as Torvald, Barbara Gordon as Ann Marie and Alice Snaden as Emmy.

For tickets or other information, visit belfry.bc.ca.

Belfry Theatre

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jen Hodge conducts an online concert during the pandemic after returning to B.C. from New York City. Photo courtesy Claudia Nobauer
Canada Recovery Benefit won’t replace the magic of live performance, musicians say

Cash will help, but its the audience connection that most performers miss — and crave

Mary Fox’s new book My Life as a Potter is available at bookstores nationwide. (Cole Schisler photo)
My Life as a Potter raises funds for Mary Fox Legacy Project

Acclaimed Vancouver Island potter’s story raising money for developing artists

Premier John Horgan and Rob Douglas, BC NDP candidate for Cowichan Valley, meet with Cowichan First Nation elders, as they demonstrate spearfishing along the river. (Submitted)
Horgan acknowledges A&E sector hit hard by COVID-19, but showing signs of recovery

Hollywood North doing better than Hollywood South, Horgan says

Can you spot all 12 Days of Christmas displays at the Butchart Gardens? Jen Blyth photo.
The magic of Christmas returns to the Butchart Gardens

Some events cancelled due to COVID-10 but 12 Days of Christmas will brighten the season

Gatineau artist Michèle Provost visits the Malaspina Galleries during her artist residency on Gabriola Island. (Photo supplied)
Gatineau artist the first to take part in new Gabriola Island artist residency

Michèle Provost to create art book reflecting on the positives of aging

Legendary Vancouver-based blues and jazz guitarist and vocalist Jim Byrnes will perform live at the Tidemark Theatre in a concert that will also be streamed. Contributed photo
Legendary blues musician and actor Jim Byrnes hits the Island

Playing Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre for a hybrid live/online show

Dinner shows in the Playbill Dining Room are keeping the Chemainus Theatre going during the pandemic. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Dinner events satisfying for the Chemainus Theatre and patrons

Small groups enjoy entertainment and the food in the Playbill Dining Room

Kent Laforme looks through the sound tunnel, or visual portal, carved inside the 25,000-pound marble sculpture that could be installed at Cattle Point. (Screen Shot, Oakbay.ca video)
Kent Laforme looks through the sound tunnel, or visual portal, carved inside the 25,000-pound marble sculpture that could be installed at Cattle Point. (Screen Shot, Oakbay.ca video)
Stone Takaya sculpture could soon ‘howl’ at Cattle Point

Oak Bay inviting public suggestions for 25,000-pound marble sculpture

The Sid Williams Theatre marquee is once again proudly displaying upcoming events. Photo supplied
Courtenay’s Sid Williams Theatre reopening in a limited capacity

Theatre has been closed since March due to COVID-19

Nanaimo-based ceramic artist Joe Lyons is presenting his first solo exhibition, ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction,’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts from Oct. 26 to Nov. 12. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-based ceramic artist showcases variety of bottles in first solo show

Joe Lyons presents ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts

Toronto poet Robert Priest is presenting an online reading on Oct. 24. (Photo courtesy Allen Booth)
Nanaimo spoken word society presents online reading by prolific Toronto poet

Robert Priest to dip into 40-year catalogue for upcoming Zoom reading

Most Read