THE intimate setting of Weymouth Drama Club’s premises in Hope Street sets the tone for Ibsen’s most famous play which was written nearly 150 years ago and which still says something about today’s battle of the sexes, partly due to Christopher Hampton’s modernised version.

A cast of five take up the reins of this thought provoking drama in which a middle-class family face ruin when the wife commits a forgery to borrow money in order to take her seriously ill banker husband to Italy to help him to recover.

It takes the rest of the play for pretty wife Nora to discover what the audience knew from the first couple of minutes, namely that her husband Torvald is a patronising, male chauvinist pig who thinks only of himself and who regards his wife as little more than a plaything.

Into this mad marriage scene arrive friends Kristine. Dr Rank and Nils Krogstad who each have troubles of their own as they become involved in the drawing room drama surrounding the troubled couple.

As the plot thickens, we are reminded that in Victorian times, wives had few rights and were wholly dependent on the men in their lives, a scenario that it brilliantly played out in a stimulating plot that sends the audience away wondering whether right is always absolutely right.

In the leading role of Nora, the amazing Gemma Higgins is completely convincing as a woman who learns that marriage is a whole lot more than shopping and looking pretty while Andy Neve brilliantly takes on the role of husband Torvald who would be hilarious if he was not such a selfish toad.

Kim Krocker is suitably sensitive as Nora’s widowed friend Kristine and Ash Hurst is a youthful Dr Rank who has a secret passion for Nora.

Under the direction of Jacqui Martin, the action goes along at a lively pace in the elegant drawing room setting although the wide curtained stage has its own challenges at times when the actors are occasionally difficult to hear clearly.

This is a play that has a lot to say and Weymouth Drama have made a wonderful job of bringing this famous drama to new life.