For its International Ibsen Season, London’s Barbican Centre took three of the Norwegian playwright’s most celebrated plays and reinterpreted them for the modern age, illuminating the concerns within Ibsen’s original texts that still resonate powerfully today.
The last of the three plays, The Wild Duck, runs until 1 November. This version, reimagined by Australian director Simon Stone, fiercely distils the original script for the contemporary stage, with the action unfolding within a glass enclosure.
Hjalmar lives in a flat with his wife, senile father, visually impaired daughter and a duck. He’s reasonably content, until his old friend Gregers returns to town, armed with disturbing revelations that threaten to blow their lives apart. Stone’s bold adaption “goes straight for the jugular”, with rapidly paced scenes, intense emotive power and, yes, a live duck.