Books Magazine

Audible Theatre Collection: Ibsen

By Pamelascott

Born in 1828, Norwegian playwright, theatre director and poet Ibsen, wrote in Danish yet lived for many years in Italy and Germany. Heralded as one the most distinguished dramatists after Shakespeare, by the early 20th century A Doll's House became the world's most performed play.

Hedda Gabler

A poignant study of loneliness, impotent rage and societal expectations breeding a certain kind of madness, this trailblazing play focusses on Hedda Gabler, 'the general's daughter', and her rising feelings of anger and jealousy towards a former schoolmate, fuelled by her lack of control in her own life. When a former suitor comes back into her life, bringing with him all kinds of complication, passion and history, Hedda devises a plot to win back her power... which ultimately leads to a very civilized sort of chaos and, ultimately, tragedy.

Full cast: Laura Carmichael, James Parkes, Rachel Atkins, Sarah Whitehouse, Christopher Dane, Harry Myers, Fiz Marcus.

A Doll's House

Nora Helmers is her husband Torvald's adorable 'little doll'. Pretty and doll-like in her doll's house with her healthy children and seemingly respectable life, she and her family have it all... or so it seems. Behind closed doors, like a lot of Ibsen's anti-heroine, Nora is unhappy and unfulfilled. She is thoughtful, intelligent and trapped, playing the role of a dutiful wife in a situation that doesn't arouse any of her passions, in a society that believes that she shouldn't have any. A fascinating before-its-time window onto a world where expectations of women were streets apart from the contemporary world, Ibsen's masterpiece is a study in strength, determination and hard choices against all the odds.

Full cast: Laura Carmichael, Edward Harrison, Christopher Dane, Sarah Whitehouse, Harry Myers, Jessica Dennis, Josephine Arden.

An Enemy of the People

A true classic and a play for our modern times in equal measure. A perhaps unintentional parody on 'fake news', the hysteria of the masses and publicly shaming individuals to the point of breakdown, this story follows one man's struggle to do the right thing and speak the truth in the face of extreme social intolerance. Sometimes farcical, sometimes terrifying, An Enemy of the People is a parable for crazy times and a cautionary tale for those who dare to challenge the establishment.

Full cast: Owen Teale, Sarah Whitehouse, Christopher Dane, James Parkes, Edward Harrison, David Forest, Ben Whitehead, Harry Myers, Neil Frost, Paul Anthony, Liis Mikk, Josephine Arden.

As an Audio Show - free for members - when you add The Ibsen Collection to your library, you'll get three plays split into a total of 12 acts, each with a runtime of about 35 minutes.


(Audible Original, 3 May 2018, 6 hours 40 minutes, audiobook, Audible Show, freebie from @audibleuk)



I'd never heard of Ibsen before so I had no idea what to expect from these plays. I found these a treat to listen to. I'd have enjoyed seeing them live. A Doll's House and An Enemy of the People were by far the best. I can see why A Doll's House caused such controversy in the unflattering way it portrays marriage and women. I loved the way the play ends when Nora, a bit pissed off by her husband Torvald talking to her like she's a dim-witted simpleton gives him what for before walking away. Yeah, Nora! An Enemy of the People gave me chills because it has such relevance to modern times and fake news and social media. I was riveted.

Audible Theatre Collection: Ibsen

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