Until 28 Jan
There are two kinds of ghosts at the Sam Wanamaker this week. One comes from Suffolk-based new writing HighTide, which arrives in London with Ghost Stories by Candlelight, offering a contemporary spin on the East Anglian tradition of spine tinglers. The other is a revival of Ibsen’s great play about the way the past haunts the present and how the sins of the father can be visited upon the next generation. Hattie Morahan stars as the widowed Mrs. Alving, a woman burying her head in the sand about her husband’s real legacy in a revival by Joe Hill-Gibbins. It’s the first time that Ibsen has been produced in this indoor candlelit space, but it may not be the last. Hill-Gibbins has a good track record of reinventing old plays.
Experience the work of Henrik Ibsen, one of the most influential dramatists of all time, with his scandalous Ghosts, a searing exploration of family secrets and forbidden desire. Plagued by the ugly truth of her late husband’s legacy, Helene vows to erase the past and start again. Ignorant to the reality of his father’s character, Osvald, her son, returns home to face an uncertain future. But when the ember of an illicit romance stands to ruin Helene’s plans to play happy family, she is forced to make a decision that threatens to engulf what’s left of her – and her son’s – life completely. Nearly 150 years after causing a furore when it premiered with its depiction of incest, infection and euthanasia, Director Joe Hill-Gibbins (The Marriage of Figaro, ENO; The Tragedy of King Richard The Second, Almeida), in his Globe debut, brings a new version of the first modern tragedy to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Content Guidance: The play contains themes of incest, euthanasia and references to suicide.