John Gabriel Borkman
Sept 28, 2022. The Bridge Theatre
Finally SRB is playing JG at The Bridge.
It’s Ibsen so we know we’re not in for hilarity but there are some laughs at the bleakness and then at the blatant misogyny that JG spouts.
This is the story of an ambitious man who commits fraud, goes to jail and then spends years planning his renaissance while refusing to leave the house (presumably through shame).
It’s also the story of an ambitious man who abandons the woman he loves because he learns that the main who can help him climb the ladder. So he “leaves the playing field clear” to gain power and kill her love.
It’s the story of two sisters, two rivals, two friends, two mothers, two forms of love — one suffocating and vengeful, one open and forgiving. And who are reunited when one comes to visit with a proposition.
At 1hr 45 straight through (my fave) I was enthralled in the story; the tensions and passions. The cast is exceptional. Lia Williams is the standout for me. She’s extraordinary on stage and with her passion comes power.
SRB is of course magnificent as a man who plots his come back inspite of his apparent agrophobia. He hasn’t left the house for 8 years… He is a man who blames everyone but himself for his decisions and his downfall. He has one friend who he is incredibly cruel to. He lashes out. He’s a wounded animal.
The set is clever and paired back to allow the cast to shine. Special mention to the pianist and the haunting classical music. Magnificent. And bravo Daisy Ou.