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‘A Doll’s House’

by Henrik Ibsen. English Language Version by Simon Stephens.


Playing Dates: 9th – 17th March 2018

Auditions: 22nd October 2017, 3 pm

Director: Sandra Tomlinson

The slamming of the front door at the end of Ibsen’s delicate and electrifying play shatters the romantic masquerade of Nora and Torvald Helmer’s marriage. In their traditional, stultifying and infantilised relationship, they have deceived themselves into thinking they are happy. However, Nora has secretly (and deceptively) borrowed a large sum of money to pay for her husband, Torvald, to recover from illness on a sabbatical in Italy. Torvald’s perception of Nora is of a silly, naive “spendthrift”, so it is only when the truth begins to emerge that cracks appear in their marriage leading to an irrevocable crisis.

Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House premiered in 1879 in Copenhagen shocking its first audiences with its radical insights into the social roles of husband and wife. His portrayal of his flawed heroine, Nora, remains one of the most striking dramatic depictions of late-nineteenth century woman. The play immediately provoked “a storm of outraged controversy” with its apparently feminist message and exposure of the hypocrisy of Victorian middle-class marriage. The play is significant for the way it deals with the fate of a married woman, who at the time in Norway lacked reasonable opportunities for self-fulfilment in a male dominated world. Receiving world-wide publicity, the play was explained and attacked in newspapers, periodicals and books; it was condemned from pulpits and discussed by lawyers. It remains an incredibly important and powerful piece of theatre.

Ibsen is known as the father of modern realism and in this play presents the challenges of a woman’s position in relation to her husband and home that continue to be relevant and thought provoking for today’s audiences. This compelling new version of Ibsen’s masterpiece by Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens premiered at the Young Vic Theatre, London, on 29th June 2012 to fantastic reviews and was updated with minor changes in 2013.

“Simon Stephens’s agile new version [is] . . . quick and clear and full of subtle touches”

– Susannah Clapp, Guardian

“A sensible, sensitive and spirited version . . . that chimes with the debt-laden times
we’re trapped in and poses still-pressing questions”

– Dominic Cavendish, Telegraph

“The supple new version of the text by Simon Stephens is [a] great plus point . . . in this
definitive take on a classic”

– Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard

“An astute, often savagely funny version by Simon Stephens… And as the doll at the
play’s heart and hearth cracks like porcelain and the woman emerges, it’s with a force that’s shattering.”

– Sam Marlowe, Metro

“Simon Stephens’s new English-language version of the text… makes the characters’
anxieties feel contemporary despite the period dress. “Feminism” may not have been in
Ibsen’s vocabulary, but he was undoubtedly concerned with the roles we all play and

– Financial Times

Audition notes

Set in the Helmers’ house in Norway in 1878 I am looking for actors who are able to convey the period and drama of this piece through strong, truthful characterisations that will relate to today’s audiences. I will also look at how actors interact and work together; the relationships conveyed between characters I am very excited about this production. We will need to work hard together to achieve the outstanding quality for which I will be aiming. I would ask you not to audition if you know you will not be available during the rehearsal period as rehearsals cannot be truly effective when people are missing. Due to the nature of the piece and the tight rehearsal schedule I need team players who are reliable, positive and enthusiastic, prepared to work hard between rehearsals and committed to the production so that we can all fully enjoy the creative experience and be proud of the outcome.

Audition information

Auditionees will be asked to perform scenes together. Auditionees for Nora; please come prepared to read in for other auditions as noted below. Playing ages are very rough guides.

Audition Pieces

The key protagonist of the play and a very large role. Nora is the beautiful wife of Torvald Helmer. Flighty and skittish but gradually grows in strength and character as the play progresses to make very
significant and radical decisions about her life. Fantastic role for a strong actress. Required to dance the Tarantella on stage.


We will meet on 7 th December, 7pm, for a cast get together and read through. Rehearsals will start on Thurs 4th January 2017 running twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays in January, increasing to
three times a week in February (tbc with cast) with the Sunday rehearsal on 4/3/17.

Additional rehearsals will be added if needed.

Nora Helmer (25-35)

Nora/Torvald, P7-10 “And has my little skylark” – reaction after “I believe you”
P55 – 57. “Torvald”- “This ends. Right now”
P106-108 “You’re going to leave your husband?”- “That’s exactly why I need to go”
Rank/Nora, P62-64 “My beautiful”- “filled in by anybody”.

Be prepared to copy a few simple dance
steps at audition!

Torvald Helmer (30-45)

Nora’s husband. Torvald delights in his new position at the bank, just as he delights in his position of
authority as a husband and breadwinner. He treats Nora like a child, in a manner that is both kind and
patronizing. He does not view Nora as an equal but rather as a plaything or doll to be teased and admired.

Nora/Torvald, P7-10 “And has my little skylark” – reaction after “I believe you”
P55 – 57 “Torvald”- “This ends. Right now”
P97-99 “You know. Don’t you” – “The pieces”
P106-108 “You’re going to leave your husband?”- “That’s exactly why I need to go”

Krogstad (30-50)

A man with a somewhat shady past. He is desperate to re-establish himself as credible and respectable
and attempts to blackmail Nora in the hope it will prevent him from losing his job.

Krogstad/Nora, P36-39 “Mrs Helmer. Have you any idea” – “you and your family”
Krogstad/Kristina, P82-84 “When you left”- “you have to go”

Kristine Linde (25-40)

Nora’s school friend and a widow who returns to town to find work and becomes a trusted confidante. She is sensible and clear-thinking. A complete contrast to Nora.

Kristine/NoraP16-18 “Kristine is it really true”- “I don’t underestimate anyone”
Kristine/Krogstad, P82-84 “When you left”- “you have to go”

Dr Rank (30-50)

Dr Rank is an intelligent and quick-witted man with an aggressive illness. He is a kind, close friend of the Torvalds and is secretly in love with Nora.

Rank/Nora/Kristine, P24-26 “Oh I’m sorry”- “chocolates were banned in this house”
Rank/Nora, P62-64 “My beautiful”- “filled in by anybody”

Anna (50+)

Nora’s ‘Nanny’ from childhood; has been like a mother to her

Anna/Nora, Pg 46-49 “I found the box” – “beautiful woman there, Nora”

Helene (20+)

House maid.

Helene/ Nora, P3 “Hide the Xmas tree”- “Not at all”
Helene/Nora/Torvald, P11/12 “Torvald, I’m being serious”- “Very good”

Nora and Torvald’s children:

Ivar, 9yrs
Jon, 8yrs
(Emmy, 1yr)

To be cast later at a later date. Details to be confirmed.
Ages as noted in script but can be flexible.

If you have any queries about the audition please contact
me on 01323 733748 or email

Scripts are available from the box office with a £10 returnable deposit.

I look forward to seeing you at the auditions

Sandra Tomlinson

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