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Ibsen in Practice

Frode Helland

DOI: 10.5040/9781472507051

ISBN: 9781472507051

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The volume reveals an astonishing richness in the theatrical approaches to Ibsen across the world: it considers political theatre, institutional 'high art', theatre for development, queer and transgender theatre, Brechtian techniques, puppetry, post-dramatic theatre, rural village performance and avant-garde touring companies. Investigating varied renegotiations of his drama, including the work of Thomas Ostermeier in Germany and other parts of the world, versions of A Doll's House from Chile and China, The Wild Duck in Iran and productions of Peer Gynt in Zimbabwe and Egypt, Frode Helland provides a deeper understanding of a cross-cultural Ibsen. The volume gives an in-depth analysis of the practice of Ibsen in relation to political, social, ideological and economic forces within and outside of the performances themselves, and demonstrates the incredible diversity of his work in local situations.

Helland presents a fascinating study of how innovative craftspeople bring Ibsen's dramaturgy to contemporary audiences across linguistic and national boundaries in ways that resonate with local viewers and simultaneously preserve a thematic core that is recognizably Ibsenian … What emerges from Helland's perceptive discussions is the realization that monumental art such as A Doll's House, Hedda Gabbler, An Enemy of the People, The Wild Duck, The Master Builder, and Peer Gynt (works that Helland deftly explores in cultural contexts outside of Scandinavia) can have an enduring performance life even in venues different from the author's in terms of politics, economics, ethnicity, or ideology. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals. CHOICE