The Feast at Solhaug is to be the last of Henrik Ibsen’s plays to receive its world première in English. Written 160 years ago, the Norwegian drama was Ibsen’s first successful play and the first to carry his name. Presented by Ottisdotter Productions at the Barons Court Theatre, a three-week run begins in April.
Disowned and then reclaimed by Ibsen in 1870 and 1883 respectively, ‘The Feast at Solhaug’ is one of his early lyric works exploring the themes of desire, freedom and marriage over the course of one night. The drama charts the story of Margit, Lady of Solhaug, who is awaiting her anniversary feast when an unexpected visitor brings forth memories of her lost youth. Suffocating in the gilded Solhaug, Margit plots a dramatic, desperate escape from the prison of her life. Considered to be an early antecedent of Ibsen’s later Hedda, Nora and Ellida, Margit questions her unhappy life whilst attempting to find meaning in her own.
Her oblivious husband Bengt, faultless sister Signe, drunken tax collectors and a welcome stranger weave this tale into an epic feast, of the eponymous title, and will stimulate audiences to question its status amongst Ibsen’s canon. In early translations, the play is said to possess 'the charm of a northern summer night, in which the glimmer of twilight gives place only to the gleam of morning'.
Presented for a strictly-limited three week run at the Barons Court Theatre in West London, The Feast at Solhaug will be directed by Mark Ewbank and Holly Prescott. The impressive, seasoned cast includes Lucy Pickles, Kelsey Williams, Will Timbers, Che Watson, Peter Wheal-Jones and Joe Lewis.