A family tragedy written by Henrik Ibsen which portrays the struggle of inner self and the relationship between past and present.
18 July 2019| Last updated on 21 July 2019
Every once-in-a-while, comes a production that makes you question every action you made, makes you re-think every decision you took, and makes you assess what consequences shaped and defined the person you are and the environment you live in.
Such is Ibsen’s “Ghosts” which will be coming to Dubai soon. This play is written by Henrik Johan Ibsen, a Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet is one of the founders of modernism in theatre. Ibsen is often referred to as "the father of realism" and one of the most influential playwrights of his time. His play “Ghosts” is one of his most popular works along-with “A Doll’s House” and is coming to Dubai. There will be three shows playing from the 22nd to 24th of August 2019 at The Junction in Al-Serkal Avenue.
The play was so hard-hitting that it went through its fair share of controversy. It’s a sign of the huge scandal that Ibsen’s Ghosts caused that it didn’t receive its world premiere in Norway, but in Chicago. Such was the consternation that greeted its publication in December 1881 that for some time it was considered untouchable in Scandinavia and beyond – simply as a printed script let alone as a play fit for performance. Though the play was written in the 1881, it is relevant even today, and audiences will be able to draw comparisons of their own lives from it.
Shanker Ramchandaran the director says, “Ghosts exposes, how, if we ignore the values and elements of our cultural pasts indiscriminately as we craft the cultures of the present; then the past will lash out and invade the present in extremely degenerated form. Human wisdom lies in including elements of values of the past, adapting them to modern contexts, even as we create new ones. If we do not do so we must face the tragic consequences as the past will invade the present. My team and I have spent over the last six months researching, discussing, and rehearsing. It has been an exciting and dialectal approach to crafting this production with the on and off-stage teams.”
Asad Raza Khan, the producer, says “We had a lot of success lately with entertaining productions like ‘Just Like That’, ‘Howzat’, and ‘Sherlock Holmes’. However, this time we wanted to do a hard-hitting, thought provoking, soul-jolting production. The issue in today’s world is people are not held accountable for their actions or believe that “they can get away with it”. The “I can have the cake and eat it too” is something a lot of people believe in, and are confident about. Sadly, this is not the case, actions bear reactions and consequences. With this production, we want to show that. It portrays that society must bear the “Ghosts” of our past shaping it. If society is not safe, then how can an individual be? With Shanker at the helm, and having such a stellar cast and crew, I am sure the people of Dubai are in for a hard-hitting journey which will impact them in some way for sure! It is very rare that you get to see an Ibsen play in Dubai, so I urge every theatre and literature lover not to miss this”
“Being chosen to play the role of Mrs. Alving was thrilling and humbling at the same time”, says Humera Sultana. “Working through the scripts, play readings, discussions and workshops, I realized that this was an exciting and equally challenging role. As Mrs. Alving, I had a range to work through. Emotions of Joy, introspection, debate, doubt, revelation and ultimately pain, grief and tragedy. Working with the director, Shanker, was a unique experience. This is my second play under Tall Tales and it a joy to part of this production. Asad as a producer with his attention to detail and dedication to the craft always inspires the actor in me to give my 100%.
Greg Lunn, who plays the reverend, appreciates how far theatre has come in Dubai, “Theatre in Dubai is on the rise and it is productions like Ghost that aim to raise the bar. Ibsen is one of the most sought-after authors, and by no means is easy to understand, let alone perform. However the team is up to the task and we hope that six months of our efforts, will be watched and appreciated by the people of Dubai”.
Ziyad Bangara, who plays young Oswald had a personal journey during the play, “What an exhilarating journey it has been so far. Playing Oswald has given me the opportunity to revisit dark spaces in my head and focus on the things that truly matter in life. Ghosts has structured my thoughts about the dead philosophical conventions taking over the societal narrative. I have a massive appreciation for the director’s vision. His great understanding of the human condition will make this play a memorable one for the cast and audience.
Ashleigh Adonis, a south African young and talented actress, playing the part of Regina, enjoyed working with such a dynamic and experienced team. "Working on Ghosts has been a remarkable experience. Studying the characters, the play and the playwright in so much detail has been interesting. I've learnt so much during the rehearsal process. I hope that the audience will enjoy watching the play as much as we have all enjoyed working on it."
Kailash Nair, an actor and director says, I play the role of Jacob Engstrand, which was a fun role for me to undertake. It was a quite a learning experience for me to be working with some great talents in the theatre scene. Shankar, the director is an encyclopedia when it comes to all things theatre, and the approach he takes is not to just understand the characters we play or the motivations behind the actions the characters do, he helps us understand the playwright's motivations and intentions, makes us understand the era and societal norms of the time when the play was written. As for the co starts, each one is an accomplished actor and they inspired me to get the best out of me.
The shows in Dubai will be performed from the 22nd to 24th of August at The Junction Theatre in Al-Serkal Avenue. There will be evening shows at 7 30 pm each day. Tickets are available online at www.Platinumlist.net and prices start at 75 AED.