A failed attempt to sum up John Gabriel Borkman (3)

John Gabriel Borkman is the next-to-last play that Norwegian heavyweight playwright Henrik Ibsen wrote. Completed in 1896, it was first performed as a reading in London in the winter of that year. Here’s what a British performance of the play looks like these days – you get the picture; serious, fraught family drama that not only captures the tumult of the fin de siècle, but also expresses something universal about human nature, the power of love, and the love of power. Probably anyway.
Now, before we proceed, let’s just say Vegard Vinge, Ida Müller, and Tront Reinholdtsen’s production, chosen by this year’s jury as Theatertreffen-worthy, has more in common with the Rocky Horror Picture Show than with the work of the esteemed Ms Shaw and Mr Rickman I linked to above.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard so much about a production and yet still had so little idea of what to expect. I read the live tweets and I’d seen the photos of the harrassed audience members, but I soon realized that until I took the plunge myself the whole 12-hour-long #Borkman experience was going to remain a mystery to me. So when it was my turn to go, I was all anticipation and determination. Fear not blog readers, I thought, I will EXPLAIN, once and for all. Continue reading A failed attempt to sum up John Gabriel Borkman (3)