Arts and Cultural, Deaf, Review

Review: A Doll’s House, La Boite Theate Company

Friday 19th September 2014, 7:30pm show


Nora seems to have it all – a successful husband, adorable children and a beautiful home. But this picture perfect life is actually a complicated trap of secrets and lies. Here is a story of domestic revolution, marriage and motherhood, female empowerment and the journey towards self-liberation.

Henrik Ibsen’s great psychological thriller was recently named as the world’s most performed play. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s brilliantly plotted, boasts striking characters, and tells a story that’s still as charged and moving as it was 135 years ago.

In a superb new version by Lally Katz, one of Australia’s most gifted playwrights, and directed by Steven Mitchell Wright, one of our most intrepid directors, this enduring masterpiece will be a highlight of La Boite’s season and the 2014 Brisbane Festival.


The actors were like dolls in a doll’s house where they demonstrated the roles of woman and man, as it should be in a man’s house.  There were 5 characters – 2 women and 3 males.

Nora Helmer, whom is the main character of the performance, the pretty, childlike wife of an adoring businessman and a woman whom no one, not even Nora herself, would believe capable of illicit doings.

The performers deliberately moved in a set patterns around the stage, and actors rarely made eye contact. Exchanges took place with performers looking away from each other, speaking in forced voices, and sometimes sitting on teetering chairs.

The performance was purely psychological where secrets and lies were revealed in a perfect life.   What we had just witnessed was a harrowing account, directed with breathless momentum of Nora being pushed to the breaking point by the fear of being found out. How Nora (main character) feared for her life if the secret was revealed and how it may destroy the marriage or family that she has with her husband.

In the end, all the characters became real wearing modern clothes and no longer dolls. The woman of the house stated that it has been all about you and I don’t feel equal. She leaves him.

It didn’t receive a standing ovation but very well appreciated by the audience.

Review of Auslan Interpreting

I was disappointed that I was the only person attending this show that was being interpreted. 10 seats were reserved for deaf people however this was never mentioned or providing the booking process for deaf people to book their tickets. I booked my tickets through Brisbane Festival and the booking details were never mentioned.

Also I was aware that the interpreters were booked through Deaf Services Queensland for a “cheaper” rate therefore provides theatre interpreting in poor quality version as they were only given 1 hour of rehearsal plus 2 hours of the show. This is insufficient to provide high quality theater interpreting.

If the theatre company wants to provide their performance in high quality to have such impact on wider audience, they need to engage with company that provides high quality theatre interpreting such as Auslan Stage Left.

This left bitter taste in my mouth because I was having such difficult time determining which character was which as the interpreters did not have sufficient time to practice role shifting, reducing the signing into full visual output and delayed signing outputs.

These things are normally covered in sufficient time of receiving the script, practicing and doing few run of rehearsals.

Overall Rating


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