November 15, 2011
Reviewed by Paula Citron
Written by Henrik Ibsen (adapted by Morris Panych)
Directed by Morris Panych
Performed by Nancy Palk, Joseph Ziegler, Gregory Prest, Diego Matamoros and Michelle Monteith
Oct. 9 to Nov. 18, 2011
Soulpepper has a towering hit on its hands with Ibsen’s Ghosts.
Director Morris Panych did his own colloquial adaptation that works very well, while Ken MacDonald (sets), Dana Osborne (Costumes), Alan Brodie (lighting) and Thomas Ryder Payne (sound) have collectively created the dark and moody Nordic atmosphere for this sombre play.
Ghosts, written in 1881, is one of Ibsen’s most cruel exposés on the hypocrisy of polite society. The years of lies cannot prevent the truth from finally coming out concerning the Alving family.
Capt. Alving was a degenerate and the sins of the fathers eventually reveal themselves. The cast is top of the line although Michelle Monteith should project more strongly.
Panych gets a lot of mileage out of hypocritical humour, particularly with Joseph Ziegler’s portrayal of the moralising, priggish Pastor Manders.
But at the end, Panych’s almost medium cool directorial restraint prevents the well of anguish that should pour out from the tragedy.
Ghosts continues at the Young Centre until Nov. 18.