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Hicks & Williams Headline Arcola’s Ibsen Season

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Henrik Ibsen is the focus at east London’s Arcola Theatre, where major new adaptations, starring Greg Hicks and Lia Williams (pictured), of two of the Norwegian playwright’s classics run back to back until the end of May.

First up and opening tonight (4 April 2008, preview from 1 April), Greg Hicks stars as Dr Stockmann in An Enemy of the People. Stockmann wants to protect lives by telling the truth, but his revelations may cost his town its livelihood. Is it possible to be an honest man in a town built on lie?

The new version of Ibsen’s 1882 drama is written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz (whose own plays include The Night Season, Soho – A Tale of Table Dancers and Shoreditch Madonna) and directed by Arcola founder Mehmet Ergen.

Lia Williams then plays the doomed Ellida Wangel in 1888’s The Lady from the Sea, running from 2 to 31 May 2008 (previews from 29 April). Trapped in an unhappy marriage, Ellida is consumed by her longing for the sea. The arrival of a stranger awakens deep feelings and tempts her to the water’s edge, where she must confront the past and the desire for a freedom that could destroy her.

The Lady from the Sea is adapted by Frank McGuinness, who has previously written versions of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Ghosts, Hedda Gabler, Peer Gynt and Rosmersholm. McGuinness’ own plays include Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, Dolly West’s Kitchen, Mutabilitie, Gates of Gold and Factory Girls, revived at the Arcola in 2006. Hannah Eidenow directs the new co-production with Silkenshaw Productions.

- by Terri Paddock


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