Friday, May 7, 2010

An Enemy of The People

Crucible Theatre Sheffield reopened with:
Ibsen: An Enemy of The People
There are two basic ways of looking at Ibsen's Dr Stockmann: the medical officer who discovers that the baths, on which a Norwegian spa's prosperity depends, are ruinously polluted. You can, as Arthur Miller did in his softened version, see him as an heroic idealist confronting small-town corruption. Or you can, as Christopher Hampton does in this far superior translation, portray him warts and all: as a mixture of instinctive truth-teller and wild extremist who, when his scientific findings are rejected by the town, famously argues "the minority is always right."           The Guardian

DR. STOCKMANN: Should I let myself be beaten off the field by public opinion, and the compact majority, and such deviltry? No, thanks. Besides, what I want is so simple, so clear and straightforward. I only want to drive into the heads of these curs that the Liberals are the worst foes of free men; that party-programmes wring the necks of all young living truths; that considerations of expediency turn morality and righteousness upside down, until life is simply hideous.... I don't see any man free and brave enough to dare the Truth.... The strongest man is he who stands most alone.                                   Ibsen

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