Brian Friel's version of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler premiered at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, in September 2008, to celebrate the theatre's birthday, eighty years after the Gate's inaugural production of Ibsen's Peer Gynt.
Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906), Norwegian poet and playwright, was one of the shapers of modern theatre, who tempered naturalism with an understanding of social responsibility and individual psychology. His earliest major plays, Brand (1866) and Peer Gynt (1867), were large-scale verse dramas, but with Pillars of the Community (1877) he began to explore contemporary issues. There followed A Doll's House (1879), Ghosts (1881) and An Enemy of the People (1882). A richer understanding of the complexity of human impulses marks such later works as The Wild Duck (1885), Rosmersholm (1886), Hedda Gabler (1890) and The Master Builder (1892), while the imminence of mortality overshadows his last great plays, John Gabriel Borkman (1896) and When We Dead Awaken (1899).
Brian Friel was born in County Tyrone in 1929. He died in County Donegal on 2 October 2015.
With her assertion that she is 'first and foremost a human being', Nora Helmer sent shockwaves throughout Europe when she appeared in Ibsen's greatest and most famous play, A Doll's House. Depicting one woman's struggle to be treated as a rational human being, and not merely a wife, mother or fragile doll, the play changed the course of theatrical history and sparked debates worldwide about the roles of men and women in society. Ibsen's follow-up Ghosts was no less radical, with its unrelenting investigation into religious hypocrisy, family secrets and sexual double-dealing. These two masterpieces are accompanied here by The Pillars of Society and An Enemy of the People, both set in Norwegian coastal towns and exploring the tensions and dark compromises at the heart of society.
The new Penguin series of Ibsen's major plays offer the best available editions in English, under the general editorship of Tore Rem. All the plays have been freshly translated by the best modern translators and are based on the recently published, definitive Norwegian edition of Ibsen's works. They include new introductions and editorial apparatus by leading scholars.
Not staged since its Broadway premiere starring Ruth Gordon in 1937, the first-ever publication of this adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's classic drama is revitalized through the shrewd lens of American drama master, Thornton Wilder. With his famous, clarifying dialogue, Wilder uproots this classic from Norway and funnels it through an American lens. The marriage of Ibsen's famed naturalistic style melds with Wilder's knack for emotional nuance to create a rich, demonstrative edition of the revered standard A Doll's House.
Henrik Ibsen has often been referred to as the father of realistic drama. The Norwegian playwright is best known for his major works Brand, Peer Gynt, Emperor and Galilean, A Doll's House, Ghosts, An Enemy of the People, The Wild Duck, Hedda Gabler, and The Master Builder.
Thornton Wilder was an accomplished novelist and playwright in the twentieth century. Two of his four major plays garnered Pulitzer Prizes, Our Town (1938) and The Skin of Our Teeth (1943). His play The Matchmaker was later adapted into the record-breaking musical Hello, Dolly! The Bridge of San Luis Rey, one of his seven novels, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1928, and his next-to-last novel, The Eighth Day received the National Book Award (1968). Our Town continues to be the most produced American play in the world.