bookshelves: radio-3, winter-20132014, play-dramatisation, norway, published-1881, families, lifestyles-deathstyles, medical-eew, incest-agameforallthefamily, slit-yer-wrists-gloomy
Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Laura
Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from December 15 to 16, 2013
BBC Description: Henrik Ibsen's provocative tale of family secrets and lies, in a new version adapted and directed by Richard Eyre and featuring the cast of his recent production for the Almeida Theatre.
Helene Alving, a widow, is delighted that her son has returned home to Norway from his artist's life in Paris. The orphanage founded in her husband's name is about to open with the blessing of the local pastor, but there are family secrets and ghosts of the past beneath the surface of her ordered life which are about to come out to devastating effect.
First staged in 1883, Ibsen's play shocked audiences with its themes of illegitimacy, inherited syphilis, religion and feminism and in Richard Eyre's fast-moving adaptation it retains its original power and energy. This production was first directed by Eyre for the Almeida Theatre in London and opened in September 2013 to great acclaim.
Original sound design, John Leonard
Winner of the Evening Standard Theatre Award 2013 for Best Director
'a masterpiece of compassion' The Times
'a spell-binding production' The Independent
'Richard Eyre's powerfully intimate version of Ibsen's Ghosts is a triumph' The Observer
'Lesley Manville's magnificent performance' The Guardian
'Richard Eyre's fleet and vivid adaptation' The Daily Telegraph.
•Mrs. Helene Alving, a widow
•Osvald Alving, her son, a painter
•Jacob Engstrand, a carpenter
•Regina Engstrand believes she is the daughter of Jacob Engstrand, but is actually Captain Alving's child. She is also Mrs. Alving's maid.
•Captain Alving, never on stage due to being deceased, but is spoken of.
Contrast the above Daily Telegraph comment with their one at the play's debut: "Ibsen's positively abominable play entitled Ghosts....An open drain: a loathsome sore unbandaged; a dirty act done publicly....Gross, almost putrid indecorum....Literary carrion.... Crapulous stuff" - Daily Telegraph
"I picked at the knot and it unravelled."
Hypocrisy at every turn, and all the social taboos of those Victorian times are on display. Would be wonderful to go back in time and watch those middle-class jaws dropping, and palms raised to cheeks. Perhaps this reaction against acknowledging human nature inspired Munch.
6 days left to listen
4* Hedda Gabler
3* A Doll's House
4* Peer Gynt
3* A Wild Duck
WL The Master Builder