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World Premiere of new film Hedda Gabler to Screen in Oslo as Part of the International Ibsen Festival

Hedda Gabler film poster - photo by Robert Lipnicki

Rita Ramnani as Hedda Gabler in the new adaptation - photo by Robert Lipnicki

David Butler as Jorge Tesman walks with Christine Winters as Aunt Julianne in Hedda Gabler - photo by Robert Lipnicki

Cast and celebrities will celebrate the World Premiere of the lavish new film adaptation Sept 8th in partnership with the Henrik Ibsen Museum and the Festival.

I wanted youthful characters who would introduce Ibsen to younger generation, who would lure the production away from the confines of a stage and make Hedda's issues speak out to today’s audiences.
— Matthew John, Director
BRISTOL, SOMERSET, UNITED KINGDOM, August 29, 2016 / -- Leading cast and crew will attend the International Ibsen Festival in Oslo in early September to celebrate the world premiere of Matthew John’s sumptuous new film adaptation of Hedda Gabler. The red carpet screening will be hosted by the city’s landmark cinema, the Vika, at 6pm on September 8th in partnership with the Henrik Ibsen Museum, part of the Norske Folke Museum. The screening is listed in the official Festival programme and a strictly limited number of tickets to the Black Tie premiere are available through the Festival for fans to enjoy the film in addition to the array of theatre performances of Ibsen’s plays.

Costumes designed for the film will be unveiled and placed on display in a special exhibition at the Henrik Ibsen Museum which will be open to the public from the 9th September. Costume Designer Olya Wallington will be joined by Matthew John and leading members of the cast in giving a press conference on September 9th and will be available for personal interviews on the same day. As with the premiere, the Costume Exhibition is part of the 16 day official programme, but all dresses will remain on permanent display the Museum as a gift from the Matthew John Productions.

This will not be the first time the director and cast have graced a red carpet in honour of Hedda. The film was invited to give a film industry publicity preview at the Cannes Film Festival and was celebrated at two prestigious VIP events in the Riviera resort town.

Crucially for fans, critics and Ibsen enthusiasts, this is the first time the play has been adapted for cinema using a full suite of heritage locations, exterior scenes and horses and carriages as well as introducing to audiences for the first time, characters only ever referred to in the play. Such lavish treatment showcasing Ibsen’s masterpiece has been welcomed by the Royal Palace and Ibsen Societies for its positive effect celebrating Norwegian culture.

Hedda Gabler is perhaps the playwright’s best known play, named after its intriguing and complex female protagonist.
The film was previewed at the Cannes Film Festival and is being distributed worldwide by an association between Vision Films and Sony Entertainment.

About Matthew John’s Hedda Gabler
The Film
Matthew John’s Hedda Gabler is the most lavish and daring adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s classic stage play ever made for film or television. The film uses more locations and extras than previous productions, the costumes and even the silk for the dresses have been specially designed, and characters referred to in the play but never seen on stage, are introduced for the first time.

The film was shot in historic locations in the English West Country counties of Gloucestershire and Somerset, the first ever production of Hedda Gabler to use the latest 4K ultra high definition. The role of Hedda Gabler, considered the ‘Female Hamlet’, is one of the finest for a woman actor.

The Script
The original stage play was written by Henrik Ibsen in Norwegian and was first performed in Munich, Germany, in 1891 in a German translation. The first English language production was in New York two months later. Since then, Hedda Gabler has been translated into numerous languages including several different English versions.

Matthew John created an especially adapted script for this production which is also a conscious tribute to the famous 1962 BBC Television production starring Ingrid Bergman.

Hedda, beautiful daughter of the late General Gabler, returns from her honeymoon with dull scholar husband Jorge to confront the boredom and banality of married life. Although she has little more than amused contempt for her husband, she is pregnant by him and is revolted by the thought of carrying his child and the changes that motherhood will impose upon her future. When the re-appearance of an old flame of hers threatens both Jorge’s career prospects and her own amour proper, and jealous of his relationship with other women, Hedda contrives to bring about the lover’s destruction but in the process, also brings about her own.

About the Costumes
During the International Ibsen Festival, the Henrik Ibsen Museum will be opening a new area dedicated to the dresses from the film Hedda Gabler, adapted from the Ibsen play of the same name and directed by Matthew John.
The collection of seven crinolined dresses, a night gown and silk bathing robe worn by the film’s female cast will go on display at the museum from the 8th of September.

Olya Wallington met Matthew John while working on a collection for the London Fashion Week in 2012 and was engaged as head of Costume Design in the early development stage of the film. The costumes are a central feature of any film set in the past. This adaptation of Hedda Gabler is set in the 1860's and designing the costumes involved extensive research to ensure authenticity.
The period is quite well documented with drawings of ladies wearing coats and dresses but actual patterns are not available. Working closely with Matthew John, Olya developed calico mock-up costumes before selecting the fabrics and colours to suit the costumes.

The fabrics themselves were designed especially for the film by Katherine Thompson of the Silk Gallery. Katherine carefully considered colour pallets, soft for Thea Elvsted and bold for Hedda Gabler, as well as damask weaves and patterns figured within the cloth to complement Olya’s designs and Ibsen’s portrayal of the women. The quality of the silks and the embellishing decorations used were critical in establishing both the authenticity of the costumes themselves and in reflecting the personality of the characters in the film.

About Olya Wallington

Russian born Olya Wallington is particularly interested in period costume design and construction and relishes the in-depth research involved. Coming from an engineering background, she studied a course in dressmaking and design and was drawn to the discipline of design and pattern making. She spends hours painstakingly following traditional methods of manufacture and craftwork to ensure an authentic final product.

Penny Wood
PBH Celebrity PR
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