Brack points out to Hedda that "the world has never had to say no to you." Aristocratic and feeling entitled, she sees disappointment as her lot in life, complemented by a bottomless boredom. Love is "a lie," Hedda declares at one point. How could such a vacant soul feel otherwise?

As Hedda, Brilhante maintains a quiet, simmering meanness, with cold eyes above social smiles. Hickey immediately establishes George as a well-intentioned, sympathetic sort whom we believe could be both intelligent and incapable of suspecting his wife's malevolence. Boyce-Smith is a solid Judge Brack, a confident confidant. McDonnell gives the role of Thea an all-important vulnerability, a trait shared by Lynch's Eilert after his initial exuberance.

Ibsen used her maiden name rather than title the play Hedda Tesman. His audiences will always think of Hedda as the independent woman who came to the marriage and resisted to the end being changed by it. One wonders how many women of likewise stifled spirit, attending this play more than a century ago, recognized themselves in Hedda and did something about it.

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