Melissa Bubnic’s re-imagining of HEDDA is one worlds away from the original, set on the Gold Coast with drug dealers instead of academics. From the moment the show begins, it becomes apparent that this is far from a traditional rendition, with the characters behaving, speaking and dressing in a way that is uniquely Australian.
The show revolves around Hedda Gabbler, who leaves her privileged life behind in Melbourne to live on the Gold Coast with her drug dealer husband. It becomes glaringly obvious just seconds into the show though, that life on the Gold Coast is not for Hedda.
HEDDA is funny, it is sad, and it is at times tense. The show deals with domestic violence, suicide and addiction, but is also filled with the hilarity that is a dramatised Gold Coast meth-dealing bogan family. It is as crass, as it is as engaging, and it perfectly balances what is downright dark with laugh-out-loud humour.
Ultimately, behind the bravado of this underbelly world, the play is about feminism. Hedda is not content being pushed around or aside, and despite her flaws, she is a transgressive icon in that sense.
Starring big names like Danielle Cormack, best known for playing the indomitable Bea in Wentworth, and Bridie Carter, from McLeod’s Daughters, HEDDA is a performance that you need to add to your calendar.
You can see HEDDA at the Bille Brown Theatre in West End from now up until the 8th December.
By Kate Nutting