Set in the Norwegian fjordland, the drama takes place in Mrs Alving’s country house, where she is preparing for the opening of an orphanage, a memorial to her late husband. Mrs Alving’s son Oswald, an artist, returns home for the celebrations. A story of love, betrayal and hypocrisy gradually unfolds as ghosts from the past come back to haunt the family.
First night critics were divided over Glen’s directing success with the production. While admirers deemed it “shockingly good”, “terrifically compelling” and even the best rendering of Ibsen’s classic they’d ever seen, detractors felt that the combination of “over-explicit” dialogue, “unfocussed” performances and “patchy” direction reduced the play to a “depressing” and “coarse melodrama”. There was similar disagreement over whether Glen the actor turns in a “fine” and “witheringly satiric” performance as Pastor Manders, or he’s “overstretched” by the extra duty.