John Gabriel Borkman, once an illustrious entrepreneur, has been brought low by a prison sentence for fraud. As he paces alone in an upstairs room, bankrupt and disgraced, he is obsessed by dreams of his comeback.
Downstairs, his estranged wife plots the restoration of the family name. When her sister arrives unannounced, she triggers a desperate showdown with the past.
Henrik Ibsen’s most contemporary play and his penultimate, John Gabriel Borkman is gripping, penetrating and savagely funny. This version by Lucinda Coxon premiered at the Bridge Theatre, London, in September 2022, directed by Nicholas Hytner, with a cast led by Clare Higgins, Simon Russell Beale and Lia Williams.
‘A staggering, dark portrayal of family dynamics that have been warped by misplaced values and the denial of love… full of difficult emotions and fierce feeling’
‘Weird, funny, bleak… a blackly humorous piquancy… [the play] has a whipsmart humour and wonderful momentum to it: a depiction of frozen lives finally experiencing one last calamitous thaw before the end of their days’
— Time Out
‘Riveting… a penetrating character study of highly flammable, alpha masculinity’
‘One of Henrik Ibsen’s richest plays, full of penetrating sounds and images – and of writing that vaults… a remarkable study of a charismatic personality’
‘Astonishing… the most dramatic passion we’ve seen on stage all year… Never a false note… shockingly funny… devastating one-liners… holds you riveted’