PJ Harvey, Mary-Louise Parker Can’t Save Hedda Gabler


Don’t blame the actors.

Swedish bad-boy August Strindberg isn’t around to attend the Roundabout Theatre Company’s new production of Hedda Gabler, but he did chime in on the play back when he first read it in 1891. Comparing the Ibsen piece to his own plays The Father and Creditors, Strindberg wrote: “You can see now that my seed has actually fallen into Ibsen’s brain-pan–and grown! Now he carries my semen and is my uterus!”

Not pictured: the Ibsen-uterus.

In this week’s Voice, our man Michael Feingold is not especially pleased with the Roundabout’s staging, which stars Mary-Louise Parker as Hedda. While finding Ian Rickson’s production of the classic somewhat livelier than the British director’s Broadway production of Chekhov’s The Seagull last fall, Feingold describes the evening as a “baffling patchwork that quickly falls apart at the seams.” But that could be music to Rickson’s ears, relatively speaking, when compared to Ben Brantley’s Times review, in which he calls the production “one of the worst revivals I have ever, ever seen.”

The production also features music from the brain-pan of PJ Harvey, though not the Broadway debut of “Rub ‘Til It Bleeds.”

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