SEE: Ibsen Museet

Well, speaking of famous Norwegians, I can’t leave here without mentioning Henrik Ibsen, Norway’s most famous and beloved playwright. Like Munch, I have always heard Ibsen’s name here and there and been aware of a few of his plays, but I wasn’t aware of the impact he had made on drama and that he is held in Shakespeare’s company as one of the greats.

In Paris last May I saw a production of A Doll’s House, Ibsen’s most famous play. I chose that play solely for the lead actress, as  the lovely Ms. Audrey Tautou (of Amélie fame!) played Nora. It definitely got me curious about Ibsen though and I think it’s a happy coincidence to end up in Oslo where he spent the last 11 years of his life.

The apartment where he spent those years is now a museum in central Oslo, with authentic furniture (even his pee-pot!) and belongings from his life there with his wife Suzannah. I viewed the apartment with a Spanish couple and a tour-guide who offered nice little details about Ibsen and his wife. She mentioned that he would walk daily (for 9 years!) from his apartment to the Grand Café (the sidewalk between the two is now lined with quotes from his plays).

So, after this little visit, I decided to read what Ibsen was all about. I’ve read A Doll’s House, Hedda Gabler and I’m in the middle of The Wild Duck. I’ve loved everything so far and can definitely see why his plays struck such a chord (and a nerve) with people. He was writing such controversial roles for women for that time and doing it all so cleverly and without the  slightest bit of self-doubt. Here’s to Henrik Ibsen and all the theatre he continues to inspire!

Ibsen Museum,  Henrik Ibsensgate 26, Oslo

photo of Ibsen walking courtesy of AP/Scanpix

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3 thoughts on “SEE: Ibsen Museet

  1. i’m pretty sure i read both a doll’s house & hedda gabler in high school english but i’ll be damned if i can remember anything beyond the titles seeming vaguely familiar! i guess there’s only so much room in my memory and ibsen got pushed out.

  2. They’re both a fast read, but you know, there’s so much more to read out there if you’ve already read them. I’m going to be seeking out performances of them, I’m hoping there will be something in Houston/Austin. Or…maybe I will revive my acting curiousity and look for a Nora or Hedda audition! Or…maybe not.

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