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|Title:||The New Woman in the New World: Ibsen in Australia 1889-1891|
'A Doll's House'
Ibsen in nineteenth century Australia
'the new woman'
|Abstract:||In 1889, when Janet Achurch brought 'A Doll’s House' by Henrik Ibsen to Australian and New Zealand audiences for the first time, there was an expectation that this play would send shock waves throughout the Antipodes as it had in Europe and England. Initially the reviewers were highly critical of Ibsen for writing such a play, and for constructing characters with no redeeming features, in particular the “Old Man”, as Torvald Helmer was increasingly referred to by contrast with Nora, who was seen as a model for the “New Woman.” Achurch introduced her signature role of Nora and the controversial play 'A Doll’s House' to audiences in all the capitals of the colonies and major country towns of Australia and major cities and towns of New Zealand. That the play was performed in some of the remotest areas of Australia and New Zealand is testament to the remarkable energy and versatility of Achurch and her husband, Charles Charrington. Their experience in stock companies in England fuelled their ambitions. The frequency of performances of this play in this two-year period allows for a comparative study between the emotional and antagonistic initial responses to the play mainly from critics looking to be entertained and a growing intelligence and understanding, even preference for this new drama.|
|Description:||Eileen Hoare passed away in early 2008 as this manuscript was moving through the peer-reviewing process. The paper is presented here as it was submitted by Eileen, with some minor emendations, in recognition of her warmth for her colleagues, passion for her research and contribution to the discipline over the years.|
|Rights and Permissions:||Copyright Australasian Association for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies|
|Type of Work:||Conference paper|
|Appears in Collections:||Being There: |
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