The Stage Dave Fargnoli ︎︎︎︎

James directs with verve and precision, building a tense, pressure-cooker atmosphere leavened with appealingly bleak humour. There’s a restless, relentless intensity to the staging – performers pace frantically, lounge around the set or watch from the sidelines, ensuring that Hedda never finds a moment alone – which only serves to make her feel more profoundly isolated. The spacious set by Rosanna Vize sites the action inside a cavernous, concrete living space overlooked from a mezzanine. Leaf-green panels and a scarlet vinyl sofa offer the only splashes of colour in the coldly austere chamber, at least until a breathtaking, elegantly achieved effect late in the production utterly transforms the setting.