The problem with this play is that a lot of the action happens off-stage and is narrated by one of the characters so it is a very wordy play which puts a heavy burden on the actors to keep interest alive. It is also all too easy to make the characters two-dimensional – Tesman a buffoon, Thea too sincere etc. On the whole the actors made their characters three-dimensional, but four or five dimensions would have been better. Susanne Sheehy did icy and femme fatale beautifully and looked the part, but I wished that she could also have been more BORED. Boredom was really what drove her, not real malice or spite. I take exception to the programme notes here – in what way is Hedda a female Hamlet? She is motivated and acts entirely differently from the moody but emotional Hamlet. Alistair Nunn as George Tesman was sometimes a buffoon, but he could also show great emotion and a variety of tone. I was not convinced by Alex Nicholl’s Judge Brack: he is supposed to be very manipulative but he seemed too neutral. Again I take exception to the notes – there is surely nothing father-like in Judge Brack’s attitude towards Hedda. Phoebe Thompson also struggled to make her rather dull character come alive but on the whole Tomahawk Theatre Company carried off a difficult play.
For those of you who haven’t discovered it yet, the North Wall is a theatre beautifully converted from a swimming hall in North Oxford and is a wonderful addition to Oxford’s cultural life and to Summertown.