review of A Doll’s House

My initial impression of the play started when we walked in to the theatre space.
The space was small and more intimate than other plays I had recently seen. The furthest seat from the stage was perhaps only 15 feet away. There was no curtain and the set was fixed with a large apron and the stage was not raised but was at floor level with thefirst row of seats. I immediately got the impression of being in someone;s living room.
This production of Henrik Ibsen;s groundbreaking play, ;The Doll House; was staged in a black box theatre which was converted from an old warehouse. The Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC) lends itself well to this type of intimate performance where the audience can get close to the action on stage and make a connection with the characters. The stage and set design used a proscenium arch design combined with a somewhat large apron which extended the acting area out past the proscenium area giving the audience a feeling of more intimate involvement.
Ibsen utilizes a writing structure similar to that of classical Greek theatre, and uses psychological insight that reflects his own position in theatre history. The play is considered to be thefirst in the genre of Realism, which valued real portrayal of life. The staging of this production play was a very naturalistic drama combined with production elements of normal and selective realism. Props and costumes were realistic interpretations of period pieces. Doors and windows are used and sound is used to imitate reality outside of the apartment, such as the sounds of a party upstairs or the sounds of people in the street.
Initially the set design worked at creating the expectation of a small towns or villages that were typical during the late 1800s prior to the major impact of industrialization and urbanization. The set was painted to resemble wooden walls and wooden floors, which gave it a warm feel. The wooden floors where painte…