John Gabriel Borkman (trans. Eldridge)

Henrik Ibsen translated by David Eldridge

DOI: 10.5040/9781408168011.00000002
Acts: 4. Roles: Male (3) , Female (5) , Neutral (0)

A scorching indictment of nineteenth century capitalism, Ibsen’s penultimate play paints a devastating picture of selfish ambition.

John Gabriel Borkman paces alone in an upstairs room. Downstairs, his wife Gunhild waits for their son to vindicate the family name. They have lived on separate floors for eight years, following Borkman’s imprisonment for fraud on an enormous scale. Gunhild’s twin sister Ella, who was also in love with Borkman, arrives – she is dying, and comes to lay her claim to Erhart, the nephew whom she brought up during Borkman’s incarceration.

The atmosphere is impossibly suffocating, ready to crack, and the contest over the affections of the reluctant Erhart brings the submerged conflict screaming on to the stage. John Gabriel Borkman is a work of cold poignancy etched with comedy, a portrait of men and women who have nothing left to lose.

This version, translated by David Eldridge, premiered in 2007 at the Donmar Warehouse, London.

From John Gabriel Borkman


Bloomsbury Publishing

Henrik Ibsen translated by David Eldridge

ISBN: 9780713685701

Series: Modern Plays

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