Opened 1 Aug 2007
Written: Victoria Benedictsson, in a new version by Clare Bayley
Directed: Paul Miller
Produced: National Theatre
Cast: Nancy Carroll (Louise Strandberg), Niamh Cusack (Erna), Zubin Varla (Gustave Alland)
Synopsis: One sunny day in Paris, Gustave Alland, famous artist and philanderer, visits Louise Strindberg – convalescing in her brother’s studio – and casts her effortlessly under his spell. In a vain attempt to escape, she exiles herself to her provincial hometown in Sweden. But a letter propels her back to Paris and into his arms. And for a brief moment, before the horror, ecstasy is hers.
What the critics had to say.....
NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Paul Miller's unevenly cast production fails to exploit the play's fraught potential of Benedictsson's anguished, autobiographical drama but still intrigues." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "Immaculate version, a major act of reclamation...The excitement lies in an unknown play combining an autobiographic authenticity with a statement about the role of women in late 19th century society." SERENA DAVIS for the DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "Detailed, fine performances from the cast who swish about in period silks make this dissection of the cruel dynamics of love gripping if not ultimately moving." SUSAN ELKIN for THE STAGE says,"Dark, quite disturbing, feminist play, in Clare Bayley’s compelling reworking..." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "Fascinating play...The Enchantment is an astonishingly mature work." SARAH HEMMING for THE FINANCIAL TIMES says, "Miller’s fine production slowly gathers momentum, so that by the end you are completely gripped."
Production photos by Nobby Clark