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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Hedda: “the story of a woman who demands a better life”

We chatted to the female-identifying members of the cast and crew of Hedda to find out what the play and its protagonist mean to them

Hedda, Lucy Kirkwood’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s classic, is being staged at the Oxford Playhouse this week by Perepeteia Productions. Part of the Vote season, celebrating 100 years of female suffrage, and directly following Charlotte Vickers’s Breaking the Fifth Wall festival, a week-long extravaganza celebrating women in theatre, Hedda’s feminist message couldn’t find a better time be put on stage. We chatted to the female members of the cast and crew about what Hedda means to them – here’s what they had to say:

India Opzoomer – plays Hedda Gabler

There aren’t many roles like Hedda. She’s an actor’s dream. I feel so grateful to have been given the opportunity be part of such a wonderful production and take on such a beautifully complicated character. She may be despairing, but I’ve never been so happy”

Georgie Murphy – plays Thea Eldridge

“Hedda is a snapshot of six people searching for something worthwhile in their lives, and their different ways of trying to get it, and coping without it. They’re restless, frustrated, at times elated, and their lives intersect at a point where their energies destroy and create. All six of them feel so close to us today – I think that’s what makes them so challenging, but equally, all the more vulnerable, relatable and special”

Christina Hill – Stage Manager

“Hedda is the story of a woman who demands a better life for herself. She refuses to take up the domestic role offered to her by the men in her life because she measures her life by different standards from everyone else. No matter how much power she exerts over the people in her life, her isolation ultimately destroys her, and at the centre of her tragedy we find a frustration to control the uncontrollable which is only too human.”

Tracey Mwaniki – Assistant Production Manager

“Hedda to me is a new way of storytelling. It constructs a narrative and builds a unique strong female character but grants her the privilege of nuance, something I think all creative people could learn from”

Julia Denby-Jones – Marketing Assistant

“Hedda is timeless. She’s been the fascination of the world stage for over 100 years. She’s frustrating, revered, despised, adored. Each new interpretation breathes life into her, yet she remains utterly elusive. It’s a role that continues to evolve in the most magical way.”

Hedda is playing at the Oxford Playhouse from February 21st to 24th.

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