A Doll’s House Review

Homish Itwaru

Performance Review

Thea 101


Ryan Donovan


A Doll’s House Review

The production “A Doll House” was an interesting and exciting experience. The play done by Hunter College students was put together quite nicely. The actor’s performances were excellent and left a good impression on me. “A Doll’s House” is presented by Henrik Isben and Hunter College department of Theatre. The play was done real good and the actors performances were good, however some parts of the play seem to be out of place and not necessary. The actors did well, but their portrayals of some of the characters were a bit off. The play is about Nora leaving after certain events leading up to it, however the beginning of the play doesn’t show it , because of the way she was living at the time with buying what she want. It doesn’t appear until later the way Torvald feels about Nora. The play almost sends a message of how women were view back in the past by men. The play itself is played by a mixture of ethnicities instead of one group of people. The overall message if the play is to show the way women were suppose to act and be during this time period.

The play is about the events that lead up to the main character Nora figuring out that’s she is a doll that is kept lock up at home. The plays start off with the lovely life Nora is living with her family. However that changes when the plays starts to show the financial deal that she made with Krogstad. She borrows money from him knowing that he is not a man to be trusted. Krogstad has a bad reputation and is currently working for Nora husband Torvald who is planning on firing him. Krogstad makes a threat to Nora about telling her husband he that Nora forges the signature on their contract which is a great offense. When Nora is unable to change Torvald mind Krogstad send him a letter that’s explain all that Nora has done. At first Torvald is furious with Nora saying all he has done for her is now thrown away. However Krogstad has change his mind and decided to send the contract to Torvald who rips it up. Krogstad has fallen back in love with his old wife Kristine who is Nora old friend and who has no need to torment Nora anymore. Torvald is relieved and forgives Nora for her actions. However that’s when Nora realizes that she is like an object that Torvald owns and keeps lock up. Torvald thinks of Nora as one of his children and doesn’t see her as a responsible adult. Nora decides to leave Torvald because she doesn’t want to be a doll who place is to stay in the house and be thought of as someone without a mind.

The play was done well despite taking place in a one set room. The set designer did a good job displaying the way the room would had look like in that time. The little section to the right showing Torvald studies was a good touch to. The little details like a few chairs and decorative curtains showed how it was back then. The actors themselves did a good job with their performance. However I felt that Nora character was a little to energetic and could of lower it down a little. The person playing Torvald was wonderful; I didn’t find anything wrong with his performance. Dr. Rank character was kind of occurred, but funny. The part when it looks like Nora is flirting with him about what she’s going to wear he seem to have this blank smile on his face. The scene at the end where he comes to say his farewell to Nora and Torvald after the party was the most occurred scene. I know it gives it dramatic effect, but I didn’t like the way he kept a long silence when he was about to leave. For Kristine and Krogstad their performance was alright, but I felt their kiss scene was a little too much. The scene was a little longer then I would have thought and seem unnecessary. I also thought it was odd that Kristine was taller than Krogstad. To my knowledge I thought the male was supposed to be bigger than the female. This is the way the play doesn’t stick to the social convention of men being superior to women.

The characters costumes look the same to me during the first part of the play. I didn’t realize that a little of their clothing was changing each time they left and came back. The only scene where I notice them change costumes was after they came back from the party. The costumes did appear to fit the characters and the play. What seem unnecessary was the postman part, because he only show up once in the play at beginning and never again. It’s weird to put a character in for a few seconds and then have them gone for the entire play without even one line. Another thing that stands out was the maids. They had no real role, but opening the door for guests, taking care of the kids and taking orders from Nora and Torvald. One scene that one maids stick out was when she came and finish decorating the Christmas tree after Nora leaves. I feel that part and the scene with one maids taking care of the baby gives acknowledgement to the maids who are rarely seen in the play. The language they used was like a mixture of past and modern. At times they spoke like people would in modern times would which was funny. At other times they would speak like people from the 1800 which fit in perfectly with the play.

The play seems to focus on the way women were treated back then. It may not show in the beginning, but Torvald is treating Nora as a child and not an equal. He gives her money to buy what she wants and doesn’t seem to see her as a person who can think for herself. The play made may think about the reason both of them fell for each other in the first place. Torvald see Nora as a child and someone he can keep on lock. Nora seems to married him for his money and to be taken care of for her life. The play made me laugh, because of certain scenes that took place. An example would be the scene where Nora is trying to tempt Dr. Frank with showing her leg stockings to him. The way he smiles and turn to the audience with a really happy look was hilarious. Another would be near the end of the play after the party where Torvald is drunk and wants to do things with Nora even though she doesn’t want to. The most exciting part of the play was when Torvald found out about what Nora did. The actor was great portraying anger toward Nora. By raising his voice and yelling the play became even more interesting because the play became more serious at this point. It was serious when Dr Frank said he would disappear and die alone, but this part was more exciting. It was like the climax of the play when everything Nora did finally comes to life. The part that made the audience gasp was when Torvald describe Nora as his child. This part is the realization for Nora that she was nothing more than a doll Torvald wanted to keep lock up and that he is treating her like her father did.

The play “A Doll’s House” done by Hunter students was a good production. The acting was great however I feel some of it didn’t fit that good in the play. Nora character could have been less energetic throughout the play. Dr. Frank could have been less occurred if he didn’t have a silence betweens his lines and a smile with blank eyes even though at times he was funny. The play set was done nicely with little furniture that seems to represent the times back then and the little edition of Torvald studies was an excellent touch. The minor details like the curtains and record player adds to its overall design. For the costumes they were all right since they fit perfectly for the play, but it wasn’t too clear that they change during the performance. When I was watching they appear to be wearing the same costume when they came back on stage. The use of different ethnic people made the play better because it didn’t stick to using one kind of ethnic group. The play had both funny and serious scenes throughout it. Overall the play was excellently done and I feel like it was worth watching especially the ending where the play is at its best.



The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309