International Ibsen Festival: A tribute to morality, societal hierarchy and class struggles

  • Nishtha Juneja, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Oct 31, 2014 14:16 IST

The International Ibsen Festival is an important theatre celebration in Norway. And after being received successfully in Delhi, it will be held in Mumbai for the first time from October 31.

Ibsen's work tackled themes of morality, societal hierarchy and class struggles. The 19th century Norwegian playwright's most successful work, The Doll's House, has the distinction of being adapted for the stage the highest number of times. Credited for his Absurd Drama, his work is relevant even today.

Titled The Mumbai Ibsen Festival, the event will feature stage acts, as well as workshops and music performances. The concept has been brought to the city by popular singer-actor Ila Arun and her theatre company, Antardhwani.
The festival will feature two of Ibsen's noteworthy plays, Peer Gynt (a play in verse) and The Master Builder, which will be adapted in Hindi and Gujarati respectively.

Peer Gynt, directed by KK Raina, has been renamed as Pir Ghani and is set in Kashmir. On the other hand, The Master Builder will be staged by the Mumbai-based theatre group, Ideas Unlimited.

Since the idea of the international festival is to celebrate Ibsen, his work will be the central point of the Mumbai event as well.

"Ibsen has been on my mind for the last two years as he is considered an icon by people from all walks of life," says Arun, adding, "Ibsen had managed to encapsulate our concerns like women's issues, relationships and family ties in a changing society with such skill and understanding that readers can connect with his characters."

There is also a lot more to the event than just theatre recitals. Jazz lovers can enjoy a show by Norwegian artistes like Ruth Wilhelmine Meyer and Helge Lien.

What's in store
* Ibsen Jazz on October 31
* Pir Ghani on November 1
* The Master Builder on November 2
* Workshop on adapting and performing Ibsen on November 3

Note: To be held from October 31 to November 3, at Sophia Bhabha Hall, Bhulabhai Desai Road, 7 pm onward.

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