Matthew John's youthful and aesthetic adaptation of Ibsen's renowned masterpiece is now presented as a screenplay, complete with production photographs, to accompany the movie or as a stand-alone text.
Hedda Gabler returns, dissatisfied, from her long honeymoon. Bored by her aspiring academic husband and despising an existence that is, for her, devoid of freedoms and idealistic enchantment, she foresees a life of tedious convention. And so, aided and abetted by her predatory confidante, Judge Brack, Hedda seeks fulfilment of her desires through manipulating the fates of those around her to devastating effect.
Matthew John’s sumptuous feature film version premiered at the International Ibsen Festival, Oslo. For the first time, the film introduces unseen characters and delves beyond the traditional ‘single set’ portrayal of the classic play to offer a sweeping period drama of spectacular locations, horses and carriages and lavish costumes in the finest British tradition of the genre.
Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906), Norwegian poet and playwright, is the most frequently performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare. One of the founders of Modernism in theatre, he is often referred to as "the father of realism" who tempered naturalism with an understanding of social responsibility and individual psychology.
Ibsen's later work examined the realities that lay behind many façades, revealing much that was disquieting to many contemporaries. Ibsen forced his characters to scrutinize their past, the conditions of the society to which they belonged, and the methods by which they had gained their own petty ambitions, in order that they might pronounce judgment upon themselves. The action is concerned with character's deeds and outward lives, while his themes explore the moral and ethical relations of the individual with wider mankind.
Ibsen is often ranked as one of the most distinguished playwrights in the European tradition and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1902, 1903, and 1904.
Matthew John was born and raised in the Cotswolds in England and, like many an endearing rogue, has been doing his best to flee picturesque perfection for a life of rakish misdemeanour, eternal summer and no small degree of scandal. He is a former thespian, royal household event co-ordinator, veteran of the Cannes Film Festival and not-quite-reformed bad boy. An undying love for opulent beauty, outrageous risk and tragic romance, resulted in a wild decision one morning to make a film adaptation of one of literature's best. Hedda Gabler is his directorial and screenwriting debut and is available on DVD and VOD platforms worldwide.
British-Australian Penelope Brooke-Hamilton has been a film designer, lion (and sea lion) trainer, helicopter hostess, vintner, dive boat chef, and flying trapeze artist. She has lived in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, dived the Barrier Reef with sharks, out-skied an avalanche and had her hair styled by racoons. When not on a film set or at a writing desk, she can be found in forgotten corners of libraries, studying animals at the zoo or backstage in the theatre. She and her animals live in the mythical Arthurian lands of Somerset with well-worn Wellington boots and a lifetime collection of books.