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Ibsen's "A Doll's House" to get avant-garde treatment

The year 2006 marks the centenary of the death of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, internationally acclaimed as one of the most influential dramatists of all times.

In June, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department will present Mabou Mines' "DollHouse", adopted from Ibsen's "A Doll's House" by Lee Breuer, which has won OBIE Awards for Direction and Performance in 2004.

It is the fifth in a series of award-winning reinvented classics by Lee Breuer: Beckett's "The Lost Ones", 1974 (OBIE); "Gospel at Colonus", 1982 (IBIEs, Tony an Pulitzer nominations); "Mabou Mines Lear" 1989 (4 OBIEs); and "Peter and Wendy", 1996 (OBIEs, Outer Critics Circle).

The production projects Ibsen's 19th century feminism into an equation of power and scale. Four-feet tall male actors contrast with women of normal height. Nothing dramatises Ibsen's patriarchal point more powerful than the image of these little men dominating and commanding women 1.5 times their size in a doll's house.

In the story, Nora Hemlmer believes she has an ideal marriage. At one point in her marriage, Nora forged her father's signature to obtain a loan in order to save her husband's life and resolve her family crisis. Until then, her husband accuses her of ruining him. Nora has begun to understand that her marriage is not what she thought it was. She is treated as a doll by her husband, having no life of her own. She decides to go out into the world and abandon her marriage and children.

The impact of "Nora" by Ibsen was so great that the term "Noraism" was recognised in literary criticism.

"Mabou Mines DollHouse" will be staged at 7.45pm, on June 2 and 3, and at 3pm on June 4, at the Auditorium, Kwai Tsing Theatre. Tickets priced at $360, $280 and $150 are now available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistant (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for students and CSSA recipients are available on a first-come, first-served basis). Please see the group booking discount scheme in the programme leaflet.

For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7323 or visit . For reservations, please call 2734-9009. For credit card bookings, please call 2111 5999. To book online, please visit, .

Apart from "Mabou Mines DollHouse", there will be many more attractions in commemoration of the centenary of Ibsen's death: "Centenary of Ibsen's Death" Exhibition (May 5 to 17, Hong Kong Cultural Centre); "The Wild Duck" by Hong Kong Federation of Drama Societies (May 18 to 21, Hong Kong Cultural Centre); and "Ibsen Festival" by Theatre Space (May 25 to June 11, Ngau Chi Wan Civic Centre).

Ends/Monday, April 3, 2006

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