John Gabriel Borkman

Henrik Ibsen
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ISBN 9780571273300 Format Paperback
Published 21/10/2010 Length 144 pages

About Book

John Gabriel Borkman, wealthy, powerful, revered, sacrificed love for success and was handsomely rewarded. Now, disgraced and destitute after financial scandal and a jail sentence, he paces out each day alone, planning his comeback. Downstairs, his wife, Gunhild, lives a parallel existence, plotting for their son to restore the family's reputation. But with the arrival of Gunhild's twin sister Ella, the woman whose love Borkman gave away, the claustrophobic stasis is shattered once and for all.

Frank McGuinness's new version of Henrik Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman premiered at the Abbey Theatre in September 2010 as part of the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival.

  • About Henrik Ibsen

    Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906), Norwegian poet and playwright, was one of the shapers of modern theatre, who tempered naturalism with an understanding of social responsibility and individual psychology. His earliest major plays, Brand (1866) and Peer Gynt (1867), were large-scale verse dramas, but with Pillars of the Community (1877) he began to explore contemporary issues. There followed A Doll's House (1879), Ghosts (1881) and An Enemy of the People (1882). A richer understanding of the complexity of human impulses marks such later works as The Wild Duck (1885), Rosmersholm (1886), Hedda Gabler (1890) and The Master Builder (1892), while the imminence of mortality overshadows his last great plays, John Gabriel Borkman (1896) and When We Dead Awaken (1899).

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  • Translated By: Frank McGuinness

    Frank McGuinness was born in Buncrana, Co. Donegal, and now lives in Dublin and lectures in English at University College Dublin. His plays include: The Factory Girls (Abbey Theatre, Dublin, 1982), Baglady (Abbey, 1985), Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme (Abbey, 1985; Hampstead Theatre, London, 1986), Innocence (Gate Theatre, Dublin, 1986), Carthaginians (Abbey, 1988; Hampstead, 1989), Mary and Lizzie (RSC, 1989), The Bread Man (Gate, 1991), Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (Hampstead, West End and Broadway, 1992), The Bird Sanctuary (Abbey, 1994), Mutabilitie (NT, 1997), Dolly West's Kitchen (Abbey, 1999; Old Vic, 2000), Gates of Gold (Gate, 2002), Speaking Like Magpies (Swan, Stratford, 2005), There Came a Gypsy Riding (Almeida, London, 2007), Greta Garbo Came to Donegal (Tricycle Theatre, London, 2010) and The Match Box (Liverpool Playhouse Studio, 2012).

    His widely performed versions include Ibsen's Rosmersholm (1987), Peer Gynt (1988), Hedda Gabler (1994), A Doll's House (1997), The Lady from the Sea (2008) and John Gabriel Borkman (2010); Chekhov's Three Sisters (1990) and Uncle Vanya (1995); Lorca's Yerma (1987); Brecht's The Threepenny Opera (1991) and The Caucasian Chalk Circle (1997); Sophocles' Electra (1998) and Oedipus (2008); Ostrovsky's The Storm (1998); Strindberg's Miss Julie (2000); Euripides' Hecuba (2004) and Helen (2009); Racine's Phaedra (2006) and Tirso de Molina's Damned by Despair (2012).

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