Hedda Gabler, daughter of an aristocratic general, has just returned from her honeymoon. Her husband is Jørgen Tesman, an aspiring, reliable (but not brilliant) academic who has combined their honeymoon with research for his next book. The reappearance of Tesman's academic rival, Ejlert Løvborg, throws their lives into disarray. Løvborg, a writer, is also a recovered alcoholic who has wasted his talent until now. Thanks to a relationship with Hedda's old schoolmate Thea Elvsted (who has left her husband for him), Løvborg shows signs of rehabilitation and has just completed a bestseller in the same field as Tesman.
The critical success of his recently published work transforms Løvborg into a threat to Tesman, as he becomes a competitor for the university professorship Tesman had been counting on. The Tesman's are financially overstretched, and Tesman tells Hedda that he will not be able to finance the regular entertaining or luxurious housekeeping that Gabler had been expecting. Upon meeting Løvborg, however, the couple discover that he has no intention of competing for the professorship, but rather has spent the last few years labouring with Mrs. Elvsted over what he considers to be his masterpiece, the "sequel" to his recently published work.
Apparently jealous of Mrs. Elvsted's influence over Løvborg, Gabler hopes to come between them. She provokes Løvborg to get drunk and go to a party. Tesman returns home from the party and reveals that he found Løvborg's manuscript, which he has lost while drunk. When Gabler next sees Løvborg, he confesses to her, despairingly, that he has lost the manuscript. Instead of telling him that the manuscript has been found, Gabler encourages him to commit suicide, giving him a pistol. She then burns the manuscript and tells Tesman she has destroyed it to secure their future.
Cast:When the news comes that Løvborg has killed himself, Tesman and Mrs. Elvsted are determined to try to reconstruct his book from the comprehensive notes, which Mrs. Elvsted has kept. Gabler is shocked to discover from Judge Brack (a friend of Tesman's), that Løvborg's death, in a brothel, was messy and probably accidental. Worse, Brack knows the origins of the pistol. He tells Gabler that if he reveals what he knows, a scandal will likely arise. Gabler realizes that this places Brack in a position of power over her. Leaving the others, she goes into her room and shoots herself in the head.
Darrell D’Silva - Dr. Brack
Buffy Davis - Bertha, the maid
Daniel Lapaine - Eilert Loevborg
Anne Reid - Aunt Julie
Adrian Scarborough - Tesman
Sheridan Smith - Hedda Gabler
Fenella Woolgar - Mrs. Elvstead
Director - Anna Mackmin
Designer - Lez Brotherston
Lighting - Mark Henderson
Music - Paul Englishby
Sound - Simon Baker
Casting - Sarah Bird