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Ghosts

Ghosts
Your Price: $18.95 CDN
Last copy!
Author: Henrik Ibsen
Adapted by: Amelia Bullmore
Publisher: Methuen Drama
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 112
Pub. Date: 2008
ISBN-10: 0713685778
ISBN-13: 9780713685770
Cast Size: 2 female, 3 male

About the Play:

Ghosts is a full-length drama by Henrik Ibsen, translated and adapted by Amelia Bullmore. How far will someone go in order to leave the past behind and move into the future? Ghosts tells the story of widow Mrs. Alving, who is preparing for the opening of an orphanage in memory of her late husband. Her son's return to the family home brings with it echoes of the past she is desperate to forget.

Ghosts is a haunting study of the lingering poison in a marriage based on a lie. Mrs Alving's son, Osvald, has returned from Paris to his mother's home for the opening of an orphanage in memory of his late father, carrying with him a dreadful secret. Housemaid Regine Engstrand tends to the household, as her father, a drunken carpenter, puts the finishing touches to the orphanage. Pastor Manders, the upright Calvinist priest, will be master of ceremonies as the home for bereaved children is unveiled. Mrs Alving's delight at having Osvald home soon turns to horror and grief. The corruption that she had hoped to spare him from when sending him away from the influence of his depraved father has in fact infected his whole body in the form of syphilis. In Mrs. Alving and her son's distrust of conventional religion and mores and Osvald's anguish with life, Henrik Ibsen created an enduringly pertinent drama of social and sexual hypocrisy.

Ghosts, known as Henrik Ibsen's most controversial play, was initially turned down by Scandinavian theatre houses. Though written in 1881, its first staging was not until a year later in Chicago, at the Aurora Turner Hall, for an audience of Scandinavian immigrants. When Ghosts finally enjoyed its European premiere in Sweden in 1883, it created widespread outrage and shock. However, it was well reviewed, and has been translated, adapted, and performed many times. This spare and excellent modern version by Amelia Bullmore had a sell-out run at The Gate in Notting Hill, London in 2007 and has since been produced at The Citizens Theatre in Glasgow and at professional theatres in the UK and US.

Cast: 2 female, 3 male

What people say:

"Amelia Bullmore has made an exemplary job of adapting Henrik Ibsen's work.... It's an economical but compelling script – a masterclass in how to turn a stodgy old classic into something that will fill a theatre in the 21st century." — The Sunday Telegraph (London)

"When Ibsen's 1881 drama was first staged, the play didn’t just tread on one taboo, it bravely waded through a messy bog of them." — Sunday Times (London)

"The play becomes not just a window into how they lived in Norway more than a century ago, but also on the way we live in Britain today." — Daily Mail (London)

About the Playwright:

Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) is one of the most-performed dramatists in the world. He is revered in Norway as its most famous author and a national symbol, even though he spent much of his life abroad in Italy and Germany. He was largely responsible for the rise of realism in the theatre. In works that possess revelatory power Ibsen challenged his audiences to question conventional morality and social conditions. Often controversial, his works were deeply unsettling to many of his Victorian contemporaries. He is now widely regarded as the "father of modern drama" and one of the greatest dramatists who ever lived.

Amelia Bullmore is an English actress and writer, best known for Scott & Bailey and The Crown. She started out as an actress, began writing in 1995 and continues to do both. She has written for TV, radio, film and stage. Her adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts is her second play.