Nora by the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen (Skien, 20.03.1828 – Kristiania, 23.05.1906) premiered at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 21 December 1879. The play, written while Ibsen was in Rome and Amalfi, Italy, was conceived at a time of revolution in Europe. Charged with the fever of the 1848 European revolutions, a new modern perspective was emerging in the literary and dramatic world, challenging the romantic tradition.

Nora traces the awakening of Nora Helmer from her previously unexamined life of domestic, wifely comfort. Having been ruled her entire life by either her father or her husband Torvald, Nora finally comes to question the foundation of everything she believed in when her marriage is put to the test.

The play was controversial when first published, as it is sharply critical of the traditional role of man and woman in 19th-century marriage. To many 19th-century Europeans, this was scandalous. Nothing was considered more holy than the covenant of marriage, and to portray it in such a way was completely unacceptable.

Ibsen started thinking about the play around May 1878, but he did not begin its first draft until a year later. He outlines his conception of the play as a “modern tragedy” in a note written in Rome on 19 October 1878. “A woman cannot be herself in modern society”, he argues, since it is “an exclusively male society, with laws made by men and with prosecutors and judges who assess feminine conduct from a masculine standpoint.

” Nora: We must come to a final settlement, Torvald. Eight years long... we have never exchanged one serious word about serious things.

Nora is much more than a mere historical study of 19th-century society. Seen through 21st-century eyes, the play becomes a chilling analysis of relations between men and women today. It asks us whether the position of women has really changed since 1879. It's an exhilarating tale of moral condescension and societal hypocrisy and a subtle criticism of consumerism and the potential pitfalls awaiting well-to-do households in the Europe of 2012.

tekst 'Een Poppenhuis' van Henrik Ibsen | van en met Jolente De Keersmaeker, Wine Dierickx, Tiago Rodrigues en Frank Vercruyssen | licht Thomas Walgrave | kostuums An d’Huys | vertaling boventiteling NL Martine Bom | techniek Tim Wouters | technische assistentie première Lissabon André Calado en Magda Bizarro | productie tg STAN | coproductie House on Fire, Maria Matos Teatro Municipal, Lissabon (PT), BIT Teatergarasjen, Bergen (NO), Maltafestival Poznan (PL) en Kaaitheater, Brussel