Rosmersholm by Henrik Ibsen

This version of Rosmersholm by Ibsen is wonderfully adapted by Duncan MacMillan and directed by Ian Rickson.  Ibsen, the Danish master playwright of the 19th early 20th century was clear sighted about the injustices of society & the human foibles & insecurities that helped to keep them in place.  Rosmerholm is a dark play that contains a lot of humour and often in this production, the humour is there.  When Giles Terera came on stage as the politician Andreas Kroll I could hardly believe my luck.  Straightaway there he was filling the stage, perfect timing, wonderful voice mastering the lines and sparking the laughter.  I loved him in Hamilton & I love him in this.  All the acting is of a high standard.  A balance between the surpressed and the spoken, has to be kept for the play to work.  It may have helped if at the beginning we had had a glimpse of the ominous in the dialogue between Rebecca and Mrs Helseth.   Some Grotowski voice and body work may have helped.  There is always a risk that an Ibsen play can tip over into parody because of the time when the play was written & because of  Danish directness.  Tom Burke as John Rosmer bravely and convincingly uses a “piping” tenor voice throughout, which gives us a clear picture of his days as a clergyman giving sermons.  It also makes the conversion of his values –  influenced by Rebecca, easier to accept.  Thanks here to the wonderful voice coach Patsy Rodenburg.   As you wouid expect all the voices are as clearly heard.   You can see where Hayley Atwell is taking the character of Rebecca West and I think that she will reach this full smouldering woman pretty soon.  I didn’t feel that the end was inevitable and I was sad, but then I remembered that it is all part of why we want to see Ibsen.  The audience lapped it up.  It is a grand production and credit must go to the set designed by Rae Smith.

Tom Burke as Giles Rosmer & Giles Terera as Andreas Kroll

 

 

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