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1st Night Photos: Spall Family Affair at Borkman

By • West End
At the Donmar Warehouse, Ibsen’s 1897 drama John Gabriel Borkman - in a new version by David Eldridge directed by Donmar artistic director Michael Grandage - opened last night (20 February 2007, previews from 15 February), with a cast led by Ian McDiarmid, Penelope Wilton and Deborah Findlay, Olivier-nominated this year for her performance in last year’s The Cut at the theatre.

John Gabriel Borkman (McDiarmid) has been in voluntary seclusion in an upstairs room since serving a prison sentence for embezzlement. His estranged wife Gunhild (Findlay), her twin sister Ella (Wilton), his son Erhart, the divorcee Mrs Wilton and Borkman himself, are all trapped in a suffocating atmosphere of their household. There are only two ways out.

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Grandage and Eldridge previously had a 2005/6 Ibsen hit at the Donmar with their new version of The Wild Duck. The cast of John Gabriel Borkman also includes Rafe Spall (son of actor Timothy Spall), Emma Beattie, David Burke, Lolita Chakrabarti and Lisa Diveney. The production is designed by Peter McKintosh.

For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand for the post-show party at One Aldwych along with the company and other guests including Ian McKellen (who appeared in The Cut with Findlay), Rupert Evans, former Culture secretary Chris Smith and a large portion of the Spall family clan. John Gabriel Borkman’s limited season continues until 14 April 2007.

- by Terri Paddock


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