HENRIK Ibsen’s 1891 masterpiece is adapted and directed by Greyscale Artistic Director, Selma Dimitrijevic. Her Hedda Gabler is oddly sub-titled This is Not a Love Story, which raised my heckle-factor before I even sat down; as, like Hedda, I don’t like to be told what to think.

This Hedda is a little different; I got that. Victoria Elliott got it too producing the petulant spoilt child trapped in a beautiful woman that was good enough to actually made me want to slap her. She just wasn’t writ large enough - her character was under-developed and lacked the necessary spontaneity - except at the end when she literally exploded in a extraordinary wail of blood-red.

Ed Gaughan is the likeable baffoon of a new husband, Tesman, whose writing skills don’t earn him enough money. Lovely performance from Scott Turnbull as drunken Ejlet Løvborg - the man in the middle - in love with Hedda but loyal to Thea (Rachel Denning). Donald McBride cuts a dash as Judge Brack, but I did find his diction a little suspect at times.

I absolutely love, love, loved Polly Frame’s grumpy maid, Berte. Tom Piper’s huge set creates an opulent, other-worldy presence that’s both solid and etherial with walls of reflectivity evoking a myriad of changing landscapes.

A superb tribal soundtrack from from Scott Twynhom injected some much needed energy, which was sadly a little lacking in the first half. So, is it a love story? Did I love it? Almost - is the answer to both questions.

  • Until March 8 - various times - recommended age 12 plus 
  • Call the Box Office 0191-230-5151 or northernstage.co.uk