Loading, please wait Home About Contact Us. Frank McGuinness. Henrik Ibsen. The action takes place during a winter evening at the Rentheim family estate outside the capital.
|Published (Last):||1 March 2004|
|PDF File Size:||17.67 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||11.59 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
As cold as the unheated rooms he inhabits, Robert Coleby sends shivers down the spine in his characterisation of the obsessed white-collar fraudster, with just enough hints of sexual predation to add another edge to this already unbearably edgy play.
Since his release, a ruined and broken man himself, he has remained alone upstairs in the house lent to him by his sister-in-law Ella Judi Farr , while his bitter and unforgiving wife Gunhild Penny Everingham remains downstairs, refusing to have contact of any kind with him, and resenting everyone, even her twin sister, whose charity she is forced to accept. The melodramatic plot thickens when Ella, terminally ill, comes back to her old home to die, demanding that Erhart must take her name home and inherit her considerable wealth.
The question, then, is whether the old people, frozen in their thwarted expectations, can keep the next generation similarly entombed in the chilly north, or whether the gormless young man will have the courage to break away and flee to the sunny south, for the great escape into warmth and love. Steven Grives in this small part almost steals the show, his abject acceptance of a life of total humiliation contrasting with his irritating good nature as he seeks out and tries to help Borkman.
As Borkman paces up and down his upstairs prison like a caged animal, the snow falls relentlessly outside the house, and this restless movement contrasts with the icy stillness of his wife Gunhild, a role to which Penny Everingham gives her formidable best. Her bitter anger is always there, but it simmers rather than explodes, and only her endless knitting suggests her inner turmoil, which has its own rhythms.
And Robert Coleman — well, what can one say? One would think the role was written specifically for him, so much does he make it his own. The tiger is tamed but not pacified, and he has learned nothing from his crime and punishment except resentment and an ever deeper hatred of a world that he thinks neither understands nor deserves him.
There are aspects of the production, though, that are puzzling, and detract from the power of the whole. One is the costume design, which is not so much universal as irritating. And why do some of the women wear seamless stockings and some with seams?
No maid would have dared to speak to her mistress as Malena speaks to Gunhild — she acts as if she were in a cheap soapie like Home and Away , and uses the intonations of a sulky modern teenager. Playing until Saturday 21 April ; Monday 6.
Skip to content Theatre reviews Theatres and companies Contact. Previous Previous post: Genesis. Next Next post: The Space Between.
John Gabriel Borkman (trans. Eldridge)
Imprisoned for fraudulent business dealings, he was released eight years ago. He and his wife came to live with Ella on her estate, where she had been bringing up the Borkmans' son Erhart. Mrs Borkman now dreams that Erhart will live to redeem her husband's name, but Ella wants to control his future. Borkman, confined to an upstairs room, quarrels with Vilhelm Foldal, a worn-looking clerk, whom he normally tolerates because Foldal flatters his illusions of greatness.
John Gabriel Borkman – review
But the cold is internal, pervading the souls and lives of the characters, all entwined in an intricate family situation caused by Borkman himself who, in the past, in order to get ahead, sacrificed the love of Ella, instead marrying her twin sister Gunhild and destroying the lives of the entire family. From Mondays to Saturdays 9. It is possible to purchase full-price or discounted tickets for spectators under the age of 26 or over the age of 65 , as well as subscriptions. For the final hour before the beginning of a performance, the box office is available exclusively for the production that is due to begin.