On Oslo’s Victoria Terrasse there’s a white door marked 108. Behind it was once an office in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but before that, late in the 19th century, these rooms were occupied by a figure who has done more for Norway’s reputation abroad than all of its foreign ministers put together.
This was the apartment of Henrik Ibsen, generally regarded as the second-greatest playwright ever, and the second most-performed dramatist in the world. In both these criteria he is bested only by Shakespeare.
Ibsen’s living quarters have now become a significant venue in his thriving theatrical afterlife. For a week in January, two of Norway’s leading classical actors – Kåre Conradi and Pia Tjelta – were rehearsing here with a cast of Norwegian and UK-based actors for a bilingual production of Ibsen’s 1888 play The Lady from the Sea, which premieres this week in London.[ VIEW FULL ARTICLE ]