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Theatre review: Ghosts, Almeida Theatre, London


What is it? In Richard Eyre’s production of Henrik Ibsen’s 1881 play, Lesley Manville stars as the widowed Mrs Alving, confronting the awful truth of her last husband’s philandering.

The Independent says: “Using his own sharp adaptation, Eyre’s spell-binding production builds to its shattering climax in an unbroken 90-minute arc. The play’s emotional daring and dark humour are conveyed with matchless immediacy, the dialogue sounding fresh and new-minted without ever lapsing into anachronism … the superb Manville is a subtle and searching Mrs Alving.”

They say: Arts Desk: “The sure-footedness of Eyre’s direction is made clear whenever the characters obfuscate or lie. Instead of giving the game away with over-indicated subtext, the actors hold audiences rapt.”

The Guardian: “The most radical feature of Eyre’s first-rate revival [is] speed. Shorn of intervals, Ibsen’s 1881 play races along …. The effect is to remind us how much Ibsen, the pioneer of naturalism, owed to Greek tragedy: he shows us the present consequences of past actions in a sustained arc of suffering.”

You say: @JeremyPiper: “astonishingly good. Superb adaptation & direction … Lesley Manville and Will Keen are phenomenal”.

Details: to 23 Nov; almeida.co.uk