Alumni Rebekka Nilsson (Theatre Directing) and Roel Pronk (Drama and Contemporary Music Theatre) graduated with the theatre performance HEDDA.
What drives a human so far that he/she can only feel contempt for his/her environment and is no longer able to respect human life? This new version of Henrik Ibsen's theatre classic is social horror. The modern, hedonistic achievement-oriented society has only produced small monsters who demand attention in a pathetic and pushy way, want to be ‘liked’, chase personal success and pathologically desire happiness. Everything has become ego, lust and porn. Hedda Gabler and her antagonists must survive in an over-stimulated, suffocating and masochistic hell that is populated by childish monsters or monstrous children. Nobody is scared here to fight tooth and nail for petty self-interests. Moreover, it is totally justified to show no mercy in achieving this. The beast within reveals itself. Everything is falling apart in this hell. What happens if there’s no way out for humankind anymore? If humankind can no longer stop to ask where are we going and why?
The graduating students: 'In Hedda - een monstertragedie, we respond to a piece from the classical repertoire and therefore unavoidably to the world that we are inheriting. In addition to the self-evidently enormous artistic challenge in staging a substantively and formally strong theatre classic, we challenged ourselves even more. With a rewriting of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler that shoots back and forth at lightning speed between critically radical and lovingly faithful, and a staging that fuses traditional and modern styles, we carried out an investigation into classical work as a springboard for something new. Something that transcends the definition of ‘interpretation’ or ‘adaptation’. This investigation was an enormous challenge to our artistry and ultimately resulted in a Hedda Gabler that is intensely topical.'
Bart Meuleman, Toneelhuis: 'In short: Rebekka Nilsson’s Hedda Gabler is a well-considered production. Everything comes together in it: text editing, acting, scenography, lighting and sound. But what makes it really special is the interpretation of this 130-year-old text. I seldom see productions of such maturity from young theatremakers or directors. This Hedda bears witness to a mature insight into human nature and it uses this to create exciting, relevant and accessible theatre.’
Steven van Watermeulen, artistic leader Theatre Directing, Academy of Theatre and Dance: ‘Rebekka’s Hedda turned out to be a miraculous production in which almost all of the learning objectives of the degree programme can be ticked off as excellent: collaboration, craft, communication, concept, artistic statement... Concept, form and content are combined with unparalleled perfection in this production. In addition to this, the beautiful use of lighting and sound, as well as the operation of the merry-go-round, result in a performance of moving beauty.’
Florian Hellwig, teacher Academy of Theatre and Dance and freelance dramatist: ‘This production is exceptionally professional on all levels, urgent, original and very expressive. The Norwegian director wages an epic and compelling battle with her seemingly omnipotent ‘theatrical father’ Henrik Ibsen. It ended up being a hallucinatory and dizzying trip that breathlessly enthralls you as spectator from the first to the last second.'
Concept | Director - Rebekka Nilsson
Text | Adaptation - Roel Pronk and Rebekka Nilsson
Actors - Coen Bril, Babette Engels, Yannick Greweldinger, Titus Muizelaar, Momo Samwel, Simme Wouters
Dramaturgy | Assistant Director - Sofie Boiten
Costume design - Rebekka Wörmann
Costume assistant - Ana Resende
Music | Composition - Matthías Sigurdsson
Sound design - Alexandros Papamarkou
Lighting design - Vincent Romijn
Production - Gemma van Kruijsbergen
Supervision - Florian Hellwig
Photography - Julian Maiwald