Robert Icke’s new production of The Wild Duck is bold and controversial but delivers an interpretation that strikes home very hard indeed.
Though Robert Icke’s didacticism can be irritating, this Wild Duck undoubtedly pulls its modern audience into Ibsen’s tense, spiralling emotions to powerful effect.
Robert Icke’s conversational, documentary production of The Wild Duck at the Almeida Theatre makes this complex morality play immediately accessible.
Director Robert Icke, most ingenious of re-framers and refreshers, presents Ibsen’s The Wild Duck, a classic of pain and lies, with a touch of meta-theatre at the Almeida Theatre.
The full cast for the Almeida Theatre production of The Wild Duck by Henrik Ibsen, in a new version created by the venue’s associate director Robert Icke, is Nicholas Day, Grace Doherty, Nicholas Farrell, Andrea Hall, Kevin Harvey, Edward Hogg, Lyndsey Marshal, Clara Read and Rick Warden.
In Polly Sullivan’s starkly uncompromising arena, designed in the round and directed by Tom Attenborough, we first witness a psychiatric session between the high-functioning Mary and her clearly intrigued doctor. They banter almost flirtatiously, dancing around diagnoses and discussions, as we edge closer to the revelation that she’s being held in a secure facility after the death of her severely disabled young daughter.
It’s pretty apt that the newest theatre in Manchester brings one of the first great works of theatre to its stage. The Oresteia, a Greek tragedy, is a trilogy which first saw the light of day back in 458 BC when it was performed in Athens at the Festival of the god Dionysus. This festival involved pitting poet against poet – a much grander version of the poetry slam competitions that we have today – needless to say Aeschylus’ The Oresteia was triumphant, taking home first-place.