fri 12/08/2022

PREVIEW - Ghosts | reviews, news & interviews

PREVIEW - Ghosts

PREVIEW - Ghosts

A new staging of Ghosts: a mouth-watering double dose of iconic Norwegians

Stephen Unwin rehearses Pip Donaghy in Ibsen's 'Ghosts'Simon Annand

Revivals of Ibsen’s greatest plays come round thick and fast, and audiences may sometimes need an extra incentive to re-enter his world. A new staging of Ghosts supplies just such an inducement: a mouth-watering double dose of iconic Norwegians.

This production, presented by Rose Theatre Kingston and English Touring Theatre, will draw on designs for the play by Ibsen’s compatriot Edvard Munch. The artist, subject of a hugely popular exhibition at Tate Modern last year, supplied set designs for a production of Ghosts in Berlin in 1906 by the great director Max Reinhardt. They have never been seen onstage since. It so happens that the run of the play will coincide with Munch’s 150th anniversary.

Ghosts has never lost its power to shock. Boldly confronting venereal disease and even euthanasia, its first performances in London in 1891 required the creation of a subscription-only theatre society – members included George Bernard Shaw, Thomas Hardy and Henry James. And few contemporary directors understand the playwright more profoundly than Stephen Unwin: this will be his seventh Ibsen production and his second translation after last year’s The Lady from the Sea (pictured, Kelly Hunter and Mark Quartley in rehearsal). To celebrate the 20th anniversary of his founding of English Touring Theatre, and his valediction after five years as artistic director of the Rose Theatre Kingston, make sure you book to see Ibsen and Munch reunited after more than a century.

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