John Gabriel Borkman (London)
Closed 1h 45m
John Gabriel Borkman (London)

John Gabriel Borkman (London) London Reviews and Tickets

(20 Ratings)
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Entertaining, Clever, Resonant

About the Show

A revival of the 1896 drama about the dark side of capitalism by Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (20)

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97 Reviews | 15 Followers
Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You appreciate an exploration of human psychology and relationships from a master craftsman, enhanced by an excellent production.

Don't see it if You're looking for a critique of capitalism. That's not at all what the play is about.

581 Reviews | 89 Followers
Intelligent, Intense, Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you are a fan of great acting.I love Simon Russell Beale.He is brilliant in this.Set is excellent.Sadly the play itself is a tad dull.

Don't see it if you voted for Trump or think he was wonderful.This play feels totally relevant, but Ibsen can be a bit much.

542 Reviews | 136 Followers
Masterful, Intimate, Great acting

See it if you're interesting in a lesser-known Ibsen play, that is still relevant, with the amazing Mr. Beale in the lead with 2 other fine actresses.

Don't see it if you're expecting a big production or a fast-paced play, this one takes its time brewing and is beautifully directed as a small chamber piece

105 Reviews | 11 Followers
Masterful, Resonant, Must see, Great acting, Exquisite

See it if You like astonished by the acting skills, like Ipsen, wordy drama.

Don't see it if You don't like slow developing one place drama.

56 Reviews | 4 Followers
Excruciating, Masterful, Slow, Dark

See it if you like the slow, unrelenting movement of Ibsen well acted out

Don't see it if you cannot stand a feeling of constant darkness and cold and generally prefer fast paced plays over those that are a very slow burn

120 Reviews | 14 Followers
Disappointing, Flat, Stilted, Cliched

See it if you want to see a masterclass in acting from Beale, Higgins, and Williams. They are stuck in a bad play, but they make it worth seeing.

Don't see it if you are expecting a good production or an interesting play. If great acting in a bad play isn't sufficient for you, this play is not for you

Also I gave this a higher rating than, perhaps, it deserves purely for the acting of the 3 leads. The play itself is dreadful, and the production is borderlin average. Here you have John Gabriel Borkman (a disgraced banker who, released from prison, is brooding upstairs), his wife Gunhild (brooding downstairs, intent on getting back at Borkman for the humiliation and hardship), and her sister Ella (who took care of her nephew whilst the Borkmans dealt with scandal). The play takes place during one evening when Ella drops in for a visit, and old scores get dredged up and settled. Majority of the play is spent with each of them discussing and plotting how to get the boy to do their bidding. They talk about him like he was a kid they could sweet-talk or bribe, but he is a 23 year old man! Not only that, he is also dating a woman twice his age and couldn’t give a hoot about what his mum/dad/aunt want. Full review here:

35 Reviews | 0 Followers
Intelligent, Slow, Resonant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if The acting and the staging were top notch.

Don't see it if Very slow and a bit sad.

34 Reviews | 1 Follower
Thought-provoking, Profound, Masterful, Great writing, Exquisite

See it if You enjoy family dramas and political interest and undying love

Don't see it if You don't like big open stages and can't sit still for 1 hour. The acting was sublime.

Critic Reviews (8)

The London Evening Standard
September 30th, 2022

"It’s right that we don’t feel unearned sympathy for these characters: wrong that we feel no convincing human connection with them at all."
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Time Out London
September 30th, 2022

"It’s an eccentric play, and undeniably less ‘important’ feeling than Ibsen’s prodigious greatest hits. ... It has a whipsmart humour and wonderful momentum to it"
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The Guardian (UK)
September 30th, 2022

"Ultimately a production which reminds us of the exciting potential for theatre to turn the old inside out, and make new, if it dares to."
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The Telegraph (UK)
September 30th, 2022

"Sour, regretful Ibsen still has much to tell us about the human cost of success – but his grim tidings need lustier pickaxe strokes."
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The Times (UK)
September 30th, 2022

"The play only lasts an hour and three quarters, without an interval, yet feels longer."
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September 30th, 2022

"It's a strange, provoking play, full of difficult emotions and fierce feeling...its re-emergence here, at this time, feels doubly apt, as if by its very bleakness it brings a little light of insight."
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The Stage (UK)
September 30th, 2022

"... Nicholas Hytner’s production is glacially elegant. There are bouts of sour humour, and the mood is of a game of cat’s cradle with razor wire."
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The Arts Desk
September 30th, 2022

"Lighting and sound come into play effectively for the characters’ climactic venture into a winter as cold as their hearts."
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