Brian Friel's adaptation of Ibsen's seminal work, Hedda Gabler, will open at The Old Vic tonight, 12 September. Directed by Anna Mackmin, this major new production will star Olivier award-winning actress Sheridan Smith in the title role with Darrell D'Silva as Judge Brack, Buffy Davis as Bertha, Daniel Lapaine as Eilert Loevborg, Anne Reid as Juliana Tesman, Adrian Scarborough as George Tesman, and Fenella Woolgar as Thea Elvsted.
Ibsen's masterpiece on the conflict of the requirements of society and those of the individual explores the corrosive descent of Hedda Gabler into the treacherous void between expectation and reality. The general's daughter has married the respectable academic Tesman - a husband she despises as mediocre – and now, driven by fear and loathing, Hedda's despair goads her independent spirit to a rage expressed in the wilful contamination of life around her which eventually leads to disaster for her and all those beguiled by her.
Hedda Gabler was first published by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen in 1890. The central protagonist Hedda is often cited as one of the great dramatic roles in theatre. The play premiered in 1891 in Germany and since then has gained recognition as a classic of realism in nineteenth century drama.
Darrell D'Silva has recently been seen in Children's Children at the Almeida, The White Devil at the Menier Chocolate Factory, The Rose Tattoo, Royal Hunt of the Sun and Tales from Vienna Woods at the National. He has performed extensively with the RSC where his theatre credits include roles in Little Eagles, Anthony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, King Lear, The Drunks and The Winter's Tale. His many television appearances include Bonekickers, Criminal Justice, Poppy Shakespeare, Spooks and Messiah for the BBC, Saddam's Tribe and To be First for Channel 4 and Eleventh Hour for ITV. He has been seen in the films Closer to the Moon and Dirty Pretty Things. Buffy Davis is best known as Jolene in The Archers and will soon be seen in Joe Wright's film Anna Karenina. Her theatre work includes The Government Inspector, Annie Get Your Gun, The Rose Tattoo and The Beggar's Opera. On television she has appeared in Doc Martin, Silk, Upstairs Downstairs, Mutual Friends and Fear of Fanny.
Daniel Lapaine's film work includes Dead in Tombstone, Zero Dark Thirty, Muriel's Wedding and on television he has recently appeared in Identity, Moonshot (ITV), Hotel Babylon, Sex, the City and Me (BBC) Jane Hall and The Good Housekeeping Guide. His theatre credits include Howard Davies' production of All My Sons (Apollo, Shaftesbury Avenue), Scenes from the Back of Beyond and F**king Games (Royal Court). He recently completed directing his first feature film in Australia, 48 Shades oF Brown.
Anne Reid has just completed filming on the BBC drama Anthony and Cleopatra with Derek Jacobi due to be screened later this year. Her extensive television work includes Upstairs Downstairs, Marchlands, Five Days and Doc Martin while on stage she has appeared in Dimetos (Donmar), Thea Sharrock's Happy Now (National) and Into The Woods (Royal Opera House). Films include Ricky Gervais' Cemetery Junction, The Mother and Savage Grace.
Adrian Scarborough's extensive theatre work includes Richard Eyre's Betty Blue Eyes, After The Dance, The Habit Of Art, Time And The Conways, Henry IV Part 1 & 2, The Mandate all at the National, Accidental Death Of An Anarchist at the Donmar and Humble Boy at the Gielgud. On television he has recently been seen as Mr Pritchard in Upstairs Downstairs and will also appear in ITV's forthcoming drama Mrs Biggs with Sheridan Smith, having also appeared in acclaimed comedies Miranda and Gavin & Stacey. His film credits include Tom Hooper's Les Miserables and The King's Speech, Notes On A Scandal with Judi Dench and Vera Drake.