#justmeandmribsen –

RMJ w Mr Ibsen
There is something very encouraging about collaborating with Mr Ibsen.

For one thing – he’s dead and from everything I can gather he would be quite a tricky man to please.

I’m not sure how he’d regard these kind of adaptations. On one level, I think he’d be delighted that his work survives so far ahead into a world he know he couldn’t see. On another, a lot of what we do now would probably appall him. Like it would any Victorian.

So many of the themes cross-over from his plays to the modern context, and that’s why it’s a no-brainer to adapt him and work with him in detail. There’s something wonderful about exploring struture and form just as he did.

But quite apart from that, one of the things that encourages me in particular is that he just kept going. There were so many set backs, dismissals from his post due to the theatre being bankrupt, calls for his resignation because of his fixed determination not to settle for second best and to wake people up.

Working on the resources for Hedda Gabler with Eve Best in the title role, I remember being stunned when I realised he’d painted this woman from the life, when he himself was a mature man.

Success didn’t come over night.

He wasn’t a bright young thing – or maybe he was – but he also had staying power.

He was tenacious.

As a 40something theatre maker, it gives me heart to know that maybe the best years are still to come – I wonder if I’ll still like this post after rehearsals!

About Rebecca Manson Jones

Artistic Director and founder of Just Jones &.
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