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GHOSTS (article first published : 2006-10-22)

To mark the centenary of the death of Henrik Ibsen, generally regarded as the 'father of Modern Drama', the Hexagon Theatre in Pietermaritzburg is to host Ghosts.

This production of one of his most controversial plays is being directed by William le Cordeur. The show is performed by top local actors, including Hazel Barnes (seen in last year's Glass Menagerie), Anthony Lovell, Avershree Maistry, Arifani Moyo and Johann Hyman.

The play revolves around Mrs Alving, a well-to-do widow who is building an orphanage as a memorial to her husband, a rural Norwegian squire. The ghosts that haunt her are many and varied. Some are family secrets, ranging from her hatred of her husband and her abortive flight from him to the child he fathered by her maid and the syphilis that killed him. Other phantoms are less tangible, such as the pervasive social hypocrisy that forces her to hide problems that might be less damaging if exposed, and the religious principles that have guided her.

Some of the issues raised in Ghosts, such as syphilis (now a curable disease) do not carry the same fear as they did when it was written. However, the ghosts that haunt us in the 21st century are, like then, the unmentionable subjects that we choose not to discuss. Ghosts of the past and the present are still with us today.

Ghosts runs in the Hexagon Studio Theatre from October 25 to 28 at 19h00. Tickets R30 (R25 students and seniors). Bookings on 033 260 5537 or e-mail hexagon@ukzn.ac.za




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