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GHOSTS at the Almeida

October 12, 2013

I am a real fan of Henrik Ibsen‘s plays. “Brand”, “Hedda Gabler“, “A Doll’s House“, “Public Enemy” were all incredibly powerful deep experiences of the transformative power of theatre. Richard Eyre‘s production of “GHOSTS” at the Almeida lacked that depth and was a real disappointment. He has adapted Ibsen’s three Act play into a 90 minute one act and I think has completely lost the essence of the original play. In every other Ibsen I have seen it is this feeling of actual life unfolding tortuously in what seems like real time that gives his plays such depth.

There was no time to get into each of the characters. I felt we had only scratched the surface in an almost superficial fleeting way. Scenes seemed to begin before the last scene had ended. I felt cheated during the powerful ending as if I had not been given the opportunity to really get to empathise deeply enough with these characters. The cast are excellent within the limits they have been set. Jack Lowden and Lesley Manville give excellent powerful performances. Brian McCardie was convincing and Will Keen uses his voice very intelligently to shade the grey within his very black and white character Pastor Manders. Charlene McKenna‘s character seemed to be lost most in what felt like rushing.

The design by Tim Hatley had great depth and it was only a great pity that it was not used for a full three Acts rather than this very abridged run through. What a pity.

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From → Theatre

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