wed 21/08/2019

Ibsen

Peter Gynt, National Theatre review - towering protagonist, middle-way production

Like Hamlet and both parts of Goethe's Faust, with which it shares the highest peak of poetic drama, Ibsen's Peer Gynt is very long, timeless enough to resonate in a contemporary setting and sufficiently ambiguous in its mythic treatment of the...

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Rosmersholm, Duke of York's Theatre review - little-known Ibsen lands with force

The past haunts the present and looks likely to torpedo the future in Rosmersholm, the lesser-known Ibsen play now receiving a major West End revival in welcome defiance of the commercial odds. The protean Sonia Friedman, this venture...

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Edvard Munch: Love and Angst, British Museum review - compassion in the age of anxiety

Munch’s The Scream is as piercing as it has ever been, and its silence does nothing to lessen its viscerally devastating effect. It was painted in 1893, but it was a lithograph produced two years later – now the star of the biggest UK exhibition of...

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The Lady from the Sea, Print Room at the Coronet review - freedom to choose?

Ellida (Pia Tjelta) has a choice to make, the outcome of which will bind her future to her past or her present, each represented by a man. On the one hand, there is the tempestuous seafaring Stranger (Øystein Røger) to whom, long ago and in a fit of...

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The Wild Duck, Almeida Theatre review - meta, merciless and altogether brilliant

Beware the smile that Edward Hogg wears like a shield in the opening scenes of The Wild Duck, the Ibsen play refashioned into the most scalding production in many a year by Robert Icke, here in career-surpassing form. Playing James Ekdal, the...

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The Lady from the Sea, Donmar Warehouse review - Nikki Amuka-Bird luminous in a sympathetic ensemble

What a profoundly beautiful play is Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea. It stands in relation to the earlier, relatively confined A Doll’s House, Ghosts and Rosmersholm as Shakespeare's late romances do to the more claustrophobic tragedies. And with what...

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Nikki Amuka-Bird interview: 'There’s huge enthusiasm among actors of colour'

Nikki Amuka-Bird spent the summer in Antigua, swimming and scuba diving and could have claimed to be working. She is playing Ellida in Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea at the Donmar, in a version directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah transposed to the Caribbean...

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Hedda Gabler, National Theatre

Theatre conventions are a funny thing. Today, it’s actually quite difficult to see a modern classic dressed in the clothes and performed on the set of its specific historical period. It has to be in contemporary dress. And in a contemporary setting...

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The Master Builder, Old Vic

Demons, trolls and dead souls have a habit of latching onto Ibsen's bourgeois Norwegians. Surely the best way for actors to handle them is to keep it natural, make them part of the furniture and, in Dostoyevsky's words, "render the supernatural so...

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Little Eyolf, Almeida Theatre

Greek family smashups at the Almeida now yield to northern agony sagas, less bloody but potentially just as harrowing. In Little Eyolf the 66-year-old Ibsen dissected a failed marriage as ruthlessly as Euripides, Strindberg or Bergman, who...

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theartsdesk in Oslo: Two Peer Gynts and a Hamlet

Not so much a national hero, more a national disgrace. That seems to be the current consensus on Peer Gynt as Norway moves forward from having canonized the wild-card wanderer of Ibsen's early epic. It’s now 200 years since Norway gained a...

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My Old Lady

An Off Broadway play that largely passed without notice in 2002 is now a movie poised to suffer the same fate, notwithstanding the fact that this starry three-hander marks the film directing debut of the prolific American dramatist Israel Horovitz,...

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