REMINDER: NO MEETING IN MAY
In April we are going to read Hedda Gabler, inspired by it's current successful run at the National Theatre in London, and our enjoyment of A Doll's House.
Hedda Gabler was premiered in 1891, and its title character is considered one of the great dramatic roles in theatre.
Hedda's married name is Hedda Tesman; Gabler is her maiden name. On the subject of the title, Ibsen wrote: "My intention in giving it this name was to indicate that Hedda as a personality is to be regarded rather as her father's daughter than her husband's wife."
- Hedda Tesman née Gabler — The main character, newly married and bored with both her marriage and life, seeking to influence a human fate for the first time. She is the daughter of General Gabler.
- George (Jørgen) Tesman — Hedda's husband, an academic who is as interested in research and travel as he is in his wife. Despite George's presumed rivalry with Eilert over Hedda, he remains a congenial and compassionate host, and even plans to return Eilert's manuscript after Eilert loses it in a drunken stupor.
- Juliana (Juliane) Tesman — George's loving aunt who has raised him since early childhood. She is also called Aunt Julle in the play, and Aunt Ju-Ju by George.
- Thea Elvsted — A younger schoolmate of Hedda and a former acquaintance of George. Nervous and shy, Thea is in an unhappy marriage.
- Judge Brack — An unscrupulous family friend.
- Eilert Lövborg (Ejlert Løvborg) — George's former colleague, who now competes with George to achieve publication and a teaching position. Eilert was once in love with Hedda.
- Bertha (Berte) — A servant of the Tesmans.
Hedda, the daughter of an aristocratic and enigmatic general, has just returned to her villa in Kristiania (now Oslo) from her honeymoon. Her husband is George Tesman, a young, aspiring, and reliable (but not brilliant) academic who continued his research during their honeymoon. It becomes clear in the course of the play that she has never loved him but married him because she thinks her years of youthful abandon are over. It is also suggested that she may be pregnant.
The reappearance of George's academic rival, Eilert Løvborg, throws their lives into disarray. Eilert, a writer, is also a recovered alcoholic who has wasted his talent until now. Thanks to a relationship with Hedda's old schoolmate, Thea Elvsted (who has left her husband for him), Eilert shows signs of rehabilitation and has just published a bestseller in the same field as George. When Hedda and Eilert talk privately together, it becomes apparent that they are former lovers ... creating a devastating cocktail of emotions.
|Ruth Wilson in the lead role of London's National Theatre's current production|
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REMINDER: NO MEETING IN MAY