Review: ‘Ghosts’

Review of Henrik Ibsen’s ‘Ghosts’.

The Oxford Culture Review

It is testament to the power of Ibsen’s writing that leaving the theatre after last night’s performance of Ghosts, over 100 years after its premiere, I heard an audience member comment: “Well, I’m quite shocked… That’s a lot to think about for a Tuesday night!” Indeed Ibsen’s script, once described by a reviewer in The Telegraph as a “positively abominable play … a dirty act done publicly … Crapulous stuff,” is an exceptional challenge for the economic cast of five actors. However the English Touring Theatre rose admirably to the task, providing a compelling drive to the final apotheosis.

Henrik Ibsen at the Grand Café by Edvard Munch Henrik Ibsen at the Grand Café by Edvard Munch

Both Ghosts and its immediate predecessor, A Doll’s House, were written in the wake of the literary critic Georg Brandes’ call for literature “subjecting problems to debate.” James McFarlane described Ibsen’s response in these two plays as being “chiefly…

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