Need a refresher on what happened in Henrik Ibsen’s revolutionary classic A Doll’s House that inspired Lucas Hnath’s spunky, unauthorized sequel A Doll’s House, Part 2? Let’s travel back in time…
It’s Christmastime, 1879. (Holiday madness is timeless, emirate?) Torvald has recently gotten a sweet job at the bank after recovering from illness, and Nora is splurging⎯buying Christmas presents, decorating the house for parties, basically living it up⎯or so it seems. Torvald likes teasing her, calling her “spendthrift” and proclaiming “isn’t that just like a woman?” He holds the purse strings really tightly, but gives her an allowance just to see her smile.
Out of the blue, Kristine Linde (Nora’s childhood friend) shows up. Kristine’s husband has recently died and left her nada, so she asks Nora to help her find work. Nora says respectable women shouldn’t work, and Kristine accuses Nora of being childish. In light of her friend’s accusation, Nora fesses up about her secret fiscal finagling, revealing that she took out a loan last year in her deceased father’s name to cover Torvald’s heretofore unmentioned medical expenses, and that she’s been paying git off with her allowance and a part-time copying job. She hasn’t told Torvald about her illicit heroism because it would hurt his “man’s pride”… yes, quote-unquote man’s pride. (#Forgery #Fraud #ManPride)
But then Torvald’s employee Krogstad (the guy who filed Nora’s super-secret and illegal paperwork⎯because, in addition to having forged legal documents, as a woman, Nora could not enter into any legal agreement or have control over her money) stops by to ask Nora to get him a promotion. (#Blackmail) Nora asks Torvald to help both Kristine and Krogstad. However, discerning that Krogstad has asked Nora for favors, Torvald decides to fire Krogstad and replace him with Kristine. (#HappyHolidays)
Desperate to pay the loan before she is exposed, Nora tries flirting with Torvald’s friend, Dr. Rank, to elicit money…Long story short, her plan backfires, and Krogstad gives Torvald a letter revealing Nora’s Fraud. Upon reading it, Torvald berates Nora for ruining his life.
In the middle of Torvald’s tirade, they receive another letter from Krogstad saying he’s decided to stop blackmailing them. It turns out Krogstad and Kristine have hooked up and decided to let Nora off the hook. Torvald is thrilled and says everything’s back to normal, but Nora doesn’t think so. The hurtful things Torvald said reveals that he has never loved or respected her for who she actually is. Nora decides to leave⎯to leave her kids in the more capable hands of their maid Anne Marie, and to leave her marriage in order to find herself (quite scandalous for 1879 society). She walks out the door, never looking back.
Until now. Don’t miss what happens next in A Doll’s House, Part 2, playing now through 30.