Opened 22 May 2008
Written: Henrik Ibsen, in a new version by Mike Poulton
Directed: Anthony Page
Produced: Almeida Theatre
Cast: Paul Hilton (Rosmer), Helen McCrory (Rebecca West), Malcolm Sinclair (Kroll)
Synopsis: For generations the house of Rosmer has been a stronghold of religious and political conservatism, but great changes are taking place at Rosmersholm. The tragic suicide of his wife and the influence of the mysterious Rebecca West bring former clergyman Rosmer’s new libertarian beliefs into the light. But the past won’t easily release him. Written in 1886, Ibsen’s play charts the struggle between freedom and the cruelty of conscience in an age of political division. Isolated by their beliefs and afraid of the force of their love Rosmer and Rebecca’s journey races them to an astonishing conclusion.
What the popular press had to say.....
MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "Ibsen's masterpiece is about two people destroyed by social and political, as well as psychological factors." NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "The merit of Anthony Page's lucid, refreshing production of Rosmersholm, which comes in an unpoetic but accessible, modern version by Mike Poulton, is that it never succumbs to the temptations of melodrama." PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, "Lucid and compelling but, for my taste, too restrained in its treatment of the drama's symbolic dimension." GERALD BERKOWITZ for THE STAGE says, "A fluid adaptation...an intense production." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "This is an indifferent production of a far from great Ibsen play." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "At times Rosmersholm seems the most modern of Ibsen's plays, at times the most dauntingly complex. Either way, Anthony Page's revival maintains its grip, largely because Helen McCrory and Paul Hilton generate a quiet, unpretentious intensity while obeying the dramatist's own orders: 'No declamation, no theatricalities, express every mood in a way that seems credible and natural.' "
Production photo by Johan Persson