Burning Down the House: Uncovering the “Real” Nora

Theatre company Breach redefines the narrative of Ibsen's feminist character in A Doll's House

+44 (0)20 7942 2000
  • V&A South Kensington

    Cromwell Road
    London, SW7 2RL

  • The Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre, Level 2

  • Free event

Burning Down the House: Uncovering the “Real” Nora  photo

The character of Nora in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House has long been hailed as a feminist icon. But very few audiences today know about the “real” Nora: a young, aspiring writer called Laura Kieler. Or that Ibsen befriended her and then took her traumatic ordeal as the basis for his play - without her consent, and with disastrous consequences.

Award-winning devised theatre company Breach are currently creating Burning Down the House, a new production exploring this complex, untold story behind Ibsen’s classic play. In this presentation, which includes rehearsed readings from their current work-in-progress, writers Billy Barrett and Ellice Stevens explore how Laura’s battle with Ibsen for control over her life story speaks to some of contemporary theatre’s most burning questions: Who has the right to tell which stories? Where is the line between empathy and exploitation? Does any of that matter, if the story is good?

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Header image: Breach Theatre, Burning Down The House