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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

To Each His Own Hilde

Wrenn Schmidt. Photo by Graeme Mitchell.

From newspaper reviews of the British and American premieres of Ibsen's The Master Builder. Wrenn Schmidt (Boardwalk Empire) plays the enigmatic Hilde in BAM's current production of the play.

The New York Times, January 18, 1900:
[Hilde Wangel is] a healthy, buoyant creature from the mountains, who still has a touch of the neurotic in her composition, and is united to the unhappy architect by a mystic bond; who invades his household as one answering a spiritual call, awakens the better side of his nature to a mood of self-revelation, and inspires him to the symbolical feat which causes his [spoiler redaction!].
London's Pall Mall Gazette, 1893:
Hilde Wangel is perhaps the most detestable character in the drama’s range. In one regard a victim of nymphomania; in another a deliberate murderess; in any aspect, mean, cheap, and hateful, Hilde Wangel stands out in dishonourable distinctness.
Finally, director Andrei Belgrader's description of Hilde in the current BAM production:
A free spirit, bubbling with physical and mental energy. [...] a beacon of hope and a sexual force [...] Solness' nemesis, a bewitching breath of fresh air while simultaneously a source of temptation. Wise beyond her years. Headstrong, forthright, has immense beauty and allure. Possesses the body of a woman and the fixed thinking and literality of a child. [...]  Embodies myth and light. 
If you've seen The Master Builder, tell us who Hilde Wangel is to you.

1 comment:

  1. She's Solness' interior life: a reflection of his superego, on the one hand, his id on the other.


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