translated by Amelia Bullmore
Ghosts is Ibsen's formidably realistic play about the effects of previous generations on the young, a stinging satire on contemporary Norwegian society and morality, and a haunting tragedy that, more than a century since it premiered, still retains its power to shock.
Osvald Alving has returned from Paris to his mother's home, carrying with him a dreadful secret. His mother's delight at having him home soon turns to horror and grief. The corruption that she had hoped to spare him from when sending him away from the influence of his depraved father has in fact infected his whole body in the form of syphillis.
In Mrs Alving and her son's distrust of conventional religion and mores and Oswald's anguish with life, Ibsen created a thoroughly modern and provocative work. It created widespread outrage and shock when first produced in 1881.
This translation was first presented by the Gate Theatre, London, in a new version by Amelia Bullmore, directed by Anna Mackmin, in January and February 2007.