John Gabriel Borkman

A John Gabriel Borkman acted out in the parlour of the theatre, with the close-up and intensity of the moving image.

Towards the end of his life John Gabriel Borkman is confronted with two of his fateful life decisions; he had dismissed the woman he loved for her twin sister and he was later sentenced for embezzlement in the bank he was entrusted to manage. Now, his sister-in-law, Ella Rentheim, has come, and she offers to save the reputation of the family by urging Borkmans son Erhart to assume her surname to escape the shame associated with the name of Borkman. A moral triangle and a strong story of guilt, atonement and liberation in one of Ibsen’s less performed dramas.

Sebastian Hartmann caused a sensation at the 2000 International Ibsen Stage Festival with his production of GESPENSTER from Volksbühne in Berlin. This year he directs perhaps the most spectacular among the National Theatre’s own productions for the festival. With the use of technical gadgets like bugs, camcorder and large screen projections Hartmann makes the effort to recapture the original Ibsenian naturalism in the meeting with the audience. With Bjørn Floberg as Borkman, and Frøydis Armand and Anne Krigsvoll as the sisters Gunhild and Ella, everything should be laid out for a rich encounter between the modern European innovation and solid Norwegian Ibsen experience.

Director: Sebastian Hartmann. Set design and costumes: Susanne Münzner. Make-up: Ruth Haraldsdottír. Dramaturge: Hege Randi Tørressen.

Actors: John Gabriel Borkman: Bjørn Floberg, Gunhild Borkman: Frøydis Armand, Ella Rentheim: Anne Krigsvoll, Erhart Borkman: Thorbjørn Harr, Fanny Wilton: Trine Wiggen, Vilhelm Foldal: Trond Brænne, Frida Foldal: Janne Formoe.