Last week saw this term?s offering from Imperial College Union Dramatic Society a.k.a. Dramsoc to most. Their work of choice this time around was Henrik Ibsen?s period piece, ?A Doll?s House? directed by Jen Metcalf.
This play, set in 1880, is less than up beat and centres around the lives of a relatively well to do couple whose relationship is revealed to be more than a little superficial. Nora Helmer (Elisa Cullen), the reckless wife of bank manager T?rvald Helmer (Matt Warden), is blackmailed by a disreputable lawyer and employee of her husband Nils Kr?gstad (Silvestre Pinho) to whom she owes money. She confides in her childhood friend Kristine Linde (Antigoni Spanou) who in true dramatic fashion makes a timely reappearance.
The principles ably performed what at times was a highly emotional and evocative work despite heckling from a slightly drunk and rowdy minority of the sell-out Friday night audience. They were well supported by Tim Riley in his role as the highly amusing Dr. Rank, Shreena Patel as the dutiful maid Helene and Zoe Corbyn as Anne?Marie the aging and over worked nanny.
On the technical side there was a careful use of well positioned speakers to give direction to the sound effects and the play was backed at points by suitably period musical numbers. The lighting, whilst atmospheric, did not live up to the quality of the acting particularly in the more emotional sections of the script and at times it was difficult to see the actors. The audiences? view of the actors was also hampered by the decision to perform the majority of the work on the floor of the hall rather than the stage, especially given that it had not been possible to erect fully tiered seating.
The set design was well in keeping with the period, although the wobbly nature of its construction and doors that would not stay closed at times provided unwelcome comedy to the rather more serious drama.
The show was nonetheless enjoyable and was well received by the audience.
Dramsoc?s next production will be an adaptation of the infamous pantomime ?Jack and the Beanstalk? showing from the 19th to the 22nd January 2005.