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The Wild Duck

The Wild Duck
Your Price: $18.95 CDN
Author: Henrik Ibsen
Translated by: Charlotte Barslund
Adapted by: David Eldridge
Publisher: Methuen Drama
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 113
Pub. Date: 2006
ISBN-10: 0413775755
ISBN-13: 9780413775757
Cast Size: 3 female, 10 male

About the Play:

The Wild Duck is a full-length drama by Henrik Ibsen; in a new version by David Eldridge from a literal translation by Charlotte Barslund. Should the truth be pursued, whatever the cost? In The Wild Duck the idealistic son of a wealthy businessman seeks to expose his father's duplicity and to free his childhood friend from the lies on which his happy home life is based. You'll be on the edge of your seats when the cold clear light of day threatens a happy home. A classic of suspense from Norway's greatest playwright.

The Wild Duck, like all of Ibsen's later plays, is essentially a middle-class 'family drama'. It is about the impoverished Ekdal family: the ineffectual dreamer Hjalmar, his stolid wife Gina, their adolescent daughter Hedvig and Hjalmar's ageing, defeated father. Their world is invaded by Gregers Werle, a brooding, guilt ridden idealist who returns home after a self-imposed exile. He spurns his family's opulent home and lucrative business, instead taking a modest room in the attic apartments of Hjalmar Ekdal, a former classmate. Gripped by "an acute case of inflamed scruples," Gregers then begins to dismantle the latticework of lies that has kept life tolerable for the Ekdals, each of whom bears the wounds of a long-suppressed secret, and, in so doing, destroy the props of illusion that hold together their existence, finally leading to the family's emotional destruction. The only play in which Ibsen denies the validity of revolt, The Wild Duck suggests that under certain conditions, domestic falsehoods are entirely necessary to survival.

Written in 1883 and premiered in 1884, The Wild Duck has often been called "the master's masterpiece." An exquisitely constructed and richly nuanced work, with its innovative symbolism and its touching portrait of a fourteen-year-old girl held in thrall by her feckless father, The Wild Duck is one of Henrik Ibsen's most frequently staged plays. David Eldridge's new version of The Wild Duck opened in 2005 at the Donmar Warehouse in London.

Cast: 3 female, 10 male

What people say:

"The Wild Duck is perhaps the greatest of all Ibsen's plays, and part of the reason for its greatness is that it combines the bleakest tragedy... with an awareness of human frailty and self-deception that is essentially comic." — The Telegraph

"David Eldridge's version brings out Ibsen's permanent relevance without any textual coarsening. Five Stars. Flawless." — The Guardian

"A beautifully judged and absorbing piece of work." — The Independent

"Five Stars. Powerful and gripping." — The Times

About the Author:

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.

David Eldridge is an award-winning English playwright. He began writing full time after graduating in English Literature and Drama from the University of Exeter in 1995. He is widely regarded as one of the most prominent playwriting voices of his generation. He has also written for BBC radio and television.