I don’t believe anyone was born to play a part. Surely the point of actors, great actors, is that they can play anyone. They are clay to be moulded by scripts and directors. David Tennant was not born to play Hamlet. Benedict Cumberbatch was not born to play Hamlet. Andrew Scott was not born to play Hamlet. Otherwise only one of them would have and fan girls wouldn’t have seen Hamlet three times; in my opinion, one of Shakespeare’s more overrated plays. Now you should see the significance of these words: Ruth Wilson is Hedda Gabler.
Hedda Gabler is the other Ibsen play I’ve heard of but haven’t had the pleasure of seeing or studying within an inch of its life. The other being A Doll’s House. I now hate all my teachers for concentrating on the weak Nora when we could have had the mad, bad and dangerous to know Hedda. Ruth Wilson is the phenomenal British actress best known for her television work such as Luther and The Affair. Wilson is drawn to “damaged, complicated characters” and Hedda is no exception.
Recently married, Hedda is in a home she hates and a husband who may not provide her with the lifestyle he promised. She is used to parties and being the centre of attention. She’s always been lovely. Her husband is an academic. You can imagine how boring that must be especially as he’s not Eilert, a true rising academic. But this is the life she has chosen, she has retired from her old ways, she has made her bed and must lie in it. No more gossip or interfering in other people’s life, right?
It was originally written 1891 and set it Norway, playwright Patrick Marber and director Ivo van Hove have brought the classic to the here and now. The set could be a newly renovated loft in an up and coming part of London. Socialites never go out of fashion, academics will always be boring and everyone wants power. Hedda and Brack, played by Rafe Spall, are as hungry as each other. With every struggle for power, there is only one winner. Ibsen is timeless. Ruth Wilson as Hedda Gabler will never be forgotten. It’s as if it’s the part she was born to play.