Tuesday 23 December 1997
Everywhere you look, people are reviving the works of Ibsen and Chekhov. The former will keep them busier as there are so many more to choose from. The National has a bold, boisterous An Enemy of the People in its repertoire and following Anthony Page's remarkable production of A Doll's House with Janet McTeer pitted against Owen Teale, this great play is popping up all over the place. There are far fewer productions of Little Eyolf, a prime piece of late Ibsen, where the social realist is joined by the great symbolist poet. Seeing the premiere last year at the RSC's The Swan, Paul Taylor gave high praise to Rob Howell's expressive, uncluttered set and saluted Adrian Noble's marvellously acted production as having "stunning power and persuasiveness". Given that he's the RSC's artistic director, it is slighltly odd that, on most occasions, Noble's Ibsen and Chekhov productions seem to elicit more praise than his Shakespeare.
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