Secrets and Lies
The Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen was born in 1828 and died in 1906. He was a poet, and wrote his first dramas in verse. But his theatre – beautifully crafted, which played a clever and innovative role in the development of modern drama - does not abound in passages of big lyricism. It is called “theatre of thesis”, philosophical theatre.
The idea we had with Alejandro Tantanian for this work was not to do a play by Ibsen, or write an original text around his figure but to work with fragments of his dramas. Those texts, hardly "poetic" and overlapping each other so well in each work, can would work well, cut and torn away? Furthermore, they will not be “played” they will be read.
Recital Ibsen (Fragmentos, cartas, misceláneas) is neither a play nor a simple montage of scenes: is somewhat fragmentary and free, we try to account for certain issues and concerns that run through the entire corpus of the playwright. Issues and concerns that anticipated in many respects those of the xx century.
To build up Recital Ibsen (Fragmentos, cartas, misceláneas) we let that voice, those characters and those powerful ideas to be attracted to each other like magnets.
Ibsen was an uncomfortable idealist and moralist. He always lived, so to speak, with one foot out: out of his place. It is a trait that, as one runs smoothly through his biography, reappears and stands with the insistence of fate.
"Living" he wrote, "is to fight against the demons of the heart and brain."
He spent his last years without writing, victim of a cerebral hemorrhage, being cared by his wife. It is said that he liked to watch the street from the window of his study.
We imagine him there. Standing, looking out of the window. His own image is reflected in the glass and mixes up with the figures at the street. Again, as always, in and out. Ibsen remembers. Interrogates the future. Maybe not with pain but with some disappointed, sad perplexity.
Recital Ibsen (Fragmentos, cartas, misceláneas) (Ibsen Recital: Fragments, Letters, Miscellaneous)
Dramaturgy by Nicolás Schuff and Alejandro Tantanian
Set, costumes & lights
Musicalization & direction
Premiere: October 3rd, 2006, Sala Casacuberta, Teatro San Martin, Complejo Teatral de Buenos Aires (CTBA), Argentina.