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“She’s hard to like" – Ruth Wilson on antiheroine Hedda Gabler

There aren’t many female parts like Hedda Gabler. Watch Ruth Wilson explain why.

You’d struggle to think of a better female role – actually, any roles at all – in European theatre than Hedda Gabler. Tragic, revolutionary, dangerously volatile– she’s as intense to watch as she is to play, so much so that Ruth Wilson, the star of the National Theatre’s current production of Hedda Gabler, has likened the experience to a “workout”.

“Ibsen wrote a female antiheroine”, Wilson says in the exclusive NT Live clip shown below. “There aren’t many female parts around like that.”

Written in 1890, Henrik Ibsen’s famous play tells the story of a frustrated housewife, trapped in a loveless marriage. But in this version, NT Live director Ivo van Hove has ripped Hedda from turn-of-the-century Scandinavia and placed her in a modern, bare-walled stage. Updated in modern-dress, this sleek and minimalist production includes swelling, melancholy excerpts of Joni Mitchell’s “Blue”, Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” and Nina Simone’s “Wild is the Wind”.

Watch Wilson discuss the production, which will be broadcast live on the big screen at Vue on 9th March:

What the critics are saying...

“She is sensational,” says Dominic Cavendish in The Telegraph, hailing Wilson’s turn as Hedda as one of the best performances of 2016. “She is a terrorist, a revolutionary, a demagogue, a priest, a gun, a bomb,” Andrzej Lukowski writes about the character in his four star review in Time Out.

“It forces us to see Ibsen’s masterpiece with fresh eyes and to recognise that, even in the age of instant divorce, there are still modern Heddas helplessly trapped in loveless bondage,” says Michael Billington in The Guardian.

Catch every emotion of Wilson’s performance up close on Vue’s 4K screens on 9th March; get times and tickets here.