A VISIT to Wolverhampton’s gorgeous Grand Theatre is always a pleasure, especially when it’s to see such a powerful drama as the National Theatre’s production of Henrik Ibsen’s masterpiece, Hedda Gabler.

Ibsen wrote Hedda Gabler in 1890 so you might be excused for thinking it has little relevance to modern life. You would, however, be totally wrong because this play has plenty to say about current issues, especially the way in which people in positions of power can seek to exploit others.

Also, this new version of Ibsen’s classic by Patrick Marber sets the play in a modern context. The production, directed by Ivo van Hove, is very cool, extremely stylish and quite shocking in parts. Certain scenes elicited an audible gasp from the audience.

The minimalist, stripped down stage set is very effective in placing the focus on the characterisation and also adds to the contemporary feel of the production. A sparingly used but extremely atmospheric soundtrack compliments the mood of the play perfectly.

Hedda Gabler, a complex but not particularly likeable character brilliantly played by Lizzy Watts, is recently married but already bored. In order to free herself from the tedium of married life Hedda seeks to control and manipulate those around her with tragic consequences.

Hedda Gabler is a serous piece of theatre that is also seriously good. Please don’t be put off by the perception of Ibsen’s work as being highbrow or intellectual. This is a very accessible production that provides an extremely stimulating, thought provoking experience.

Hedda Gabler runs at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until Saturday, January 27. I thoroughly recommend that you see it.

To book tickets, visit www.grandtheatre.co.uk.