Only Shakespeare's plays are performed more frequently than those of Henrik Ibsen (1828–1906). The Norwegian playwright, theater director, and poet scandalized many of his contemporaries as he led the theater into the modern era by exploring the realities behind 19th-century social conventions.
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.
Should the truth be pursued whatever the cost? The idealistic son of a wealthy businessman seeks to expose his father's duplicity and to free his childhood friend from the lies on which his happy home life is based.
This new version by David Eldridge of Henrik's Ibsen's classic play of 1884 opened at the Donmar Warehouse in December 2005.
'David Eldridge's version brings out Ibsen's permanent relevance without any textual coarsening' Guardian
'Five Stars. Flawless' Guardian
'A beautifully judged and absorbing piece of work' Independent
'Five Stars. Powerful and gripping' The Times
'Perhaps the greatest of Ibsen's plays ... A masterly production of a masterpiece' Telegraph
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