The Olivier Award winning Polly Findlay directs this new production of Henrik Ibsen’s masterpiece, Ghosts.
Niamh Cusack (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) takes the central role as Helen Alving, a woman who’s spent years creating the illusion of a happy marriage to a successful, charming man. Long after his death, she is still trapped by the emotional after-effects of the truth – that he was a serial adulterer and a reckless alcoholic.
Stifled by obligations and expectations, Helen resolves to exorcise the ghosts of the past and free herself from the regrets that haunt her. But when her artist son Osvald returns home, it becomes clear that he has already paid the price for his father’s past.
Some legacies are impossible to escape. Some ghosts can never be laid to rest.
Polly Findlay’s recent credits include As You Like It, Treasure Island and Antigone at the National Theatre, and The Alchemist at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
David Watson’s recent plays include Knife Edge and Housed. He is under commission to Birmingham Rep, Cardboard Citizens and the Royal Court.
★★★★ “The effect is electric… This isn’t Ibsen as you know it… This deserves a longer life.” – The Times (behind paywall)
★★★★ “[Niamh] Cusack gives an exceptional performance as a woman rapidly unravelling under the burden of her life. Ibsen’s play is indeed an open drain; though it takes an actor of Cusack’s calibre to plumb the depths.” – The Guardian
★★★★ “Niamh Cusack is compelling… David Watson’s impressive new version finds spectres everywhere. [Polly] Findlay’s production is as deft as it is dark.” – The Observer
“A bravura performance from the peerless Niamh Cusack… David Watson combines a sense of colloquial modernity with the claustrophobic atmosphere of a repressed society… Go and see this.” – iNews
★★★★★ “A stunning adaptation… Ghosts envelops the audience and leaves a lasting impact; carried by a terrific cast, expert direction and a detailed set – which like David Watson’s adaptation – takes your breath away.” – Manchester Confidential
“There is much that is great about this production… A tightly-directed production with a terrific central performance that builds to an intense climax make this worth seeing.” – British Theatre Guide
★★★★ “Thrilling… Bold, visceral, and dynamic… This wonderful adaption respectfully acknowledges Ibsen’s original intentions as well as allowing David Watson to put his own contemporary and sympathetic stamp on the play.” – The Reviews Hub
★★★★ “Bold and provocative… Niamh Cusack [is] quite superb at conveying her double-edged vulnerability and eventual tragic culpability for continuing to deny awful truths… A masterpiece of European drama remade as a provocative play for today.” – The Stage
★★★★ “One of the real achievements of [Polly] Findlay’s production is to make each of the five characters feel meaty and complex… Findlay’s production, marches – elegantly but unstoppably – towards its unsettling conclusion.” – What’s On Stage
★★★★ “Director Polly Findlay’s bold and visceral new staging pulses with a palpable intensity and a foreboding atmosphere… A powerful and dynamic new interpretation of one of the great works in the dramatic canon.” – The Arts Shelf
★★★★ ” Polly Findlay delivers a tense and thoughtful play about truth, regret, hypocrisy and love. The production treads a fine line between an adaptation and a rewrite and you need to be a very skilled tightrope walker to pull it off. Watson just about does it but the credit for this fine production must also go to Findlay and her great cast.” – Morning Star
“At the centre of this tangled web of emotions and inarticulacy is Niamh Cusack’s agonised Helen… It’s a heart-wrenching performance of considerable subtlety, demanding our constant attention even amidst such a terrific ensemble cast.” – Manchester Theatre Awards
★★★★ “Provocative, riveting.” – Northern Soul
“A brilliant production, a bold adaptation of a classic text that speaks to us here and now. A potent reminder of this theatre’s potential.” – Quiet Man Dave
★★★★ “This is an exceptional cast, delivering a pitch-perfect performance; the play [is] heartbreaking and glorious in equal measures.” – North West End
“Polly Findlay’s production shines from the first moment with intrigue, tension and duplicity… There is a beautiful subtlety to the production… This HOME production is certainly that: calm, confident and quietly devastating.” – Mancunian Matters
“Director Polly Findlay’s artistic brilliance brings Ghosts into an entirely new realm, that of the modern day… Enthralling and thought-provoking.” – Mancunion
“Niamh Cusack’s incredibly physical performance… It’s worth a visit.” – About Manchester
“Terrific, absorbing.” – Gaydio
“Niamh Cusack gives a compelling performance as a woman for whom self-control is a daily battle.” – Weekend Notes
“Unmissable. Niamh Cusack’s portrayal as the slowly deteriorating Helen is flawless, with her supporting cast equally impressive.” – Humanity Hallows
“You’ll be bewitched by its charms.” – Within My Locket
“A writer of rare human sympathy.” – The Daily Telegraph on David Watson