A RADICAL new version of Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House opens a season of plays by women writers in Glasgow next month.

The Citizens Women season begins with Nora: A Doll’s House, Olivier Award-winner Stef Smith’s new adaptation of the Norwegian playwright’s portrayal of a “perfect” wife and mother whose life unravels when a past secret returns to haunt her.

First performed in Denmark in 1879, it generated controversy for showing how women struggle for freedom and fulfilment in a male-dominated world. Ibsen, who thought of the play as a “modern tragedy”, possessed values ahead of his time, writing in a note the previous year that: “A woman cannot be herself in modern society ... [as it is] an exclusively male society, with laws made by men and with prosecutors and judges who assess feminine conduct from a masculine standpoint.”

To be performed at Tramway, the temporary home of the Citizens Theatre while it undergoes redevelopment, Smith’s new version reframes the drama in three different time periods: the long fight for women’s suffrage, the “sexual revolution” of the 1960s and the present day. Taking on the role of Nora (pictured) will be three Scots performers: Maryam Hamidi, co-writer of the Amnesty Award nominated The Chronicles of Irania and known as Leyla Brodie in River City, Dundee Rep regular Molly Vevers and Citizens actor intern Anna Russell-Martin.

Also included in the season is Cora Bissett’s autobiographical musical play What Girls Are Made Of, which will head out on a tour of Scotland following performances at Tramway in mid-April.

Productions later in the Citizens Women season include September’s Duchess [of Malfi], writer/director Zinnie Harris’s new take on John Webster’s 17th century revenge tragedy.

In October there’s Fibres, Frances Poet’s look at the legacy of asbestosis in the Clyde shipyards and a daughter’s attempt to overcome her grief. Directed by Jemima Levick of award-winning theatre company Stellar Quines, the production will go on to tour community halls and centres throughout the greater Glasgow area.

Citizens Women, the theatre says, will be “dedicated to showcasing the extraordinary and wide-ranging talent of professional and community women theatre-makers in Glasgow and throughout Scotland and the power of performance to transform lives”.

As well as professional productions, the season will feature work produced by community theatre-makers engaged with the theatre’s Learning Team which has a long-standing reputation for working with vulnerable women in the city.

Artistic director Dominic Hill says the season is something he’s been keen to do for a number of years.

“The shows I have chosen for 2019 are both a response to the current media debates regarding empowerment and equality for women, and what I feel is the most exciting and ambitious work that we should be presenting to audiences in Scotland,” he says.

“We are delighted to be working with Stef Smith and Zinnie Harris who bring radical perspectives on classic texts and Frances Poet who will premiere a new play that will particularly resonate with Glasgow audiences.

“Three fantastic playwrights and three gripping stories that are relevant today.

He adds: “We will also put a spotlight on the brilliant work that our Learning Team deliver with women in marginalised communities who, through our projects, become inspiring theatre-makers in their own right.”

Nora: A Doll’s House, March 15 to April 6, Tramway, 7.30pm, £15 to £26.50, concs available. Tel: 0141 429 0022. www.citz.co.uk