Ibsen’s political drama Rosmersholm arrives in the West End starring Strike’s Tom Burke and Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Hayley Atwell, in a timely new adaptation by Duncan Macmillan.
Directed by Ian Rickson at the Duke of York’s Theatre, the play follows John Rosmer (Burke), former clergyman and heir to an influential dynasty – a paragon of principle.
With his country mired in political turmoil, and a rabid press baying for blood, Rosmer is at his lowest ebb following the suicide of his wife. Residing in Rosmersholm, his grand family manor, he confides in his childhood friend and long-term infatuation, the free-thinking Rebecca West (Atwell). But their relationship comes to poison both of them, and it soon becomes clear that Rosmer is torn between the hope of future prosperity – and the lingering ghosts of his past.
With deep underlying themes of class, social and political constriction, and the possibilities – or otherwise – of change, Rosmersholm is a twisting thriller all about the power of the winds of change.
First published in 1886, and performed in 1887, Rosmersholm is widely regarded by scholars as Henrik Ibsen’s masterpiece. Now, it receives a new adaptation from the pen of the brilliant Macmillan, who wrote recent West End and Broadway hits including People, Places And Things; Every Brilliant Thing; and co-adapted and co-directed 1984 with Robert Icke.
Tom Burke was recently seen on the London stage in The Deep Blue Sea at the National Theatre, as well as Reasons To Be Happy at the Hampstead Theatre. He has also starred in BBC series’ The Musketeers and Dolokhov. Hayley Atwell, meanwhile, is well known as Agent Peggy Carter in the Marvel universe, and recently performed in Measure For Measure at the Donmar Warehouse.
This production of Rosmersholm also marks the tenth collaboration between Sonia Friedman Productions and director Ian Rickson, a list which includes the celebrated West End and Broadway production of Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem. Rickson also directed Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, Translations, and The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia? in the West End.
Rosmersholm promises a classic examination of a country gripped by political flux – and, resultingly, a sharply prescient production.