As cold as the unheated rooms he inhabits, Robert Coleby sends shivers down the spine in his characterisation of the obsessed white-collar fraudster, with just enough hints of sexual predation to add another edge to this already unbearably edgy play. Since his release, a ruined and broken man himself, he has remained alone upstairs in the house lent to him by his sister-in-law Ella Judi Farr , while his bitter and unforgiving wife Gunhild Penny Everingham remains downstairs, refusing to have contact of any kind with him, and resenting everyone, even her twin sister, whose charity she is forced to accept. The melodramatic plot thickens when Ella, terminally ill, comes back to her old home to die, demanding that Erhart must take her name home and inherit her considerable wealth. The question, then, is whether the old people, frozen in their thwarted expectations, can keep the next generation similarly entombed in the chilly north, or whether the gormless young man will have the courage to break away and flee to the sunny south, for the great escape into warmth and love. Steven Grives in this small part almost steals the show, his abject acceptance of a life of total humiliation contrasting with his irritating good nature as he seeks out and tries to help Borkman.

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Loading, please wait Home About Contact Us. Frank McGuinness. Henrik Ibsen. The action takes place during a winter evening at the Rentheim family estate outside the capital. John Gabriel Borkman was once a great man. Wealthy, powerful, revered. He gave up love for success and was handsomely rewarded. But now, disgraced and destitute after a financial scandal and jail, the former director of the bank paces out each day, alone in an upstairs room, planning his comeback.

The information for this entry was taken from the original production programme. Setting The action takes place during a winter evening at the Rentheim family estate outside the capital.

Synopsis John Gabriel Borkman was once a great man. Cathy Belton. Joan Sheehy. John Kavanagh 1. Marty Rea. Fiona Shaw. Alan Rickman. Lindsay Duncan. Amy Molloy. James MacDonald. Tom Pye. Jean Kalman.

Joan Bergin. Ian Dickinson. Andrea Ainsworth. Sophie Motley. Tara Furlong. Stephen Dempsey. Object Construction. Zero- G. Ros Kavanagh. Conor Linehan. Amanda Coogan. Lily Mollgaard. Charlotte Barslund. Val Sherlock. Ruth McCreery. Paula McRedmond. Emer Cassidy.


John Gabriel Borkman – review

Imprisoned for fraudulent business dealings, he was released eight years ago. He and his wife came to live with Ella on her estate, where she had been bringing up the Borkmans' son Erhart. Mrs Borkman now dreams that Erhart will live to redeem her husband's name, but Ella wants to control his future. Borkman, confined to an upstairs room, quarrels with Vilhelm Foldal, a worn-looking clerk, whom he normally tolerates because Foldal flatters his illusions of greatness.


John Gabriel Borkman (trans. Eldridge)

John Gabriel Borkman is the second-to-last play of the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen , written in The Borkman family fortunes have been brought low by the imprisonment of John Gabriel who used his position as a bank manager to speculate with his investors' money. The action of the play takes place eight years after Borkman's release when John Gabriel Borkman, Mrs. Borkman, and her twin sister Ella Rentheim fight over young Erhart Borkman's future. Though John Gabriel Borkman continues the line of naturalism and social commentary that marks Ibsen's middle period, the final act suggests a new phase for the playwright, a phase brought to fruition in his final more symbolic work When We Dead Awaken.

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