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Edinburgh Fringe 2022



Genre: Adaptation, Drama, New Writing, Theatre

Venue: Greenside Infirmary St


Low Down

A stunning modern-day twist on Ibsen. Hedda is bored. She spends her days manipulating the people in her house, hiding behind the lenses of her CCTV cameras and a facade of decency.

The arrival of her ex-lover ignites flames of passion and destruction, unravelling her true desires. He’s got a woman under his arm, money in his pockets and a plan to change the future. Time without Hedda seems to have only done him good.

An invitation into the decadent world of a newly married woman, engulfed in a competitive, high-tech and male-dominated environment. Between Campari shots and lines of Cocaine, she embarks on a mission of destruction.


This version of Henrik Ibsen’s classic 1891 Hedda Gabler, brings the story and core themes of being trapped in a marriage Hedda does not want, in a house she does not like faced by an ex-lover she finds she does want, into the 21st century with a bang.

Dafna Rubinstein, playwright and director, uses the characters and themes of the original to present a fast paced, hard hitting tale of a dissatisfied and bored woman who finds herself married to a man she does not like, never mind love. In a house she didn’t want to live in faced with a former lover who seems to have turned his life around, has a new woman on his arm and a potentially very successful new app on his phone. Rubenstein follows the spirit of the play rather than trying to stick to the original text; some minor characters are omitted or only mentioned and there is none of the extensive conversations between aunts in the original. The result is a tight 60 minutes that holds the audience enthralled.

This updated version does not follow Ibsens’ extremely detailed set instructions for the drawing room but keeps to the spirit of a well appointed home of a wealthy couple. A modern town house that has been quipped with the latest in technology during the Tesman’s extended honeymoon.

There is clever use of a screen with multiple panels that uses the device of CCTV to allow us to see visitors as they approach and elements of the story as they are played out in the garden. That it is all in black and white and silent adds to the dystopian feel of the whole.

Having the writer also direct their own work is not always successful but on this occasion it works. Every move, every moment is exquisitely positioned and ensures that the pace never drops.

A nice touch is a non speaking child Hedda who appears only when Hedda is alone, with a video backdrop of her father the General donning uniform, handling his guns. With this deft move Rubenstein provides some important clues to Hedda’s past without lengthy exposition. She is not listed in the cast list by name but deserves a mention for her poise and stage presence at such a young age.

Noa Har-Zion playing Hedda switches the charm and the spite on at the flick of a switch, portraying both her boredom and excitement physically as well as in speech, a gripping and hypnotic performance.

In contrast, Iftach Ophir as Jurgen Tesman, is vulnerable, trying so hard to please this woman who he clearly feels he is lucky and honoured to have as a wife. His shifts between the pride, the wish to give her everything she wants and his vulnerability as he realises that he may not be able to afford it are completely believable and heart rending.

The international cast bring a range of differently accented english to the stage creating the sense that this upmarket townhouse could be wherever you are watching the play. It says, this isn’t a story that will only happen somewhere else, to other people, it could be in this city, this town. They work well as a team, never letting the pace drop. There is none of the pacing about the stage declaming one sees in far too much theatre.

Overall, this is an outstanding piece of theatre that brings a timeless classic up to date with a bang.