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Haunting and memorable

click to enlarge Ghosts family portrait - ASHLEY MARIE PIKE
  • Ghosts family portrait
  • Ashley Marie Pike

The ghosts of Ibsen’s 1881 tale of moral cowardice are not the spooky, spectral kind, but rather echoes of past misdeeds and unfortunate decisions that haunt the life of the play’s protagonist Helene (Martha Irving). Irving gives a quietly masterful performance as the widow who tries in vain to exorcise the demons of her husband’s dissolute past. Brian Heighton shines as Pastor Manders, a man who is both unbearably sanctimonious and frighteningly gullible. Lee J Campbell is delightfully devilish and oily as Jacob, a repellent reprobate who wraps Manders around his finger. Naomi-Joy Blackhall-Butler and Jeff Schwager give strong performances as the ambitious, comely servant girl and Helene’s petulant, tortured son, respectively. These immaculate performances and unusual and effective staging amongst antiques and bric-a-brac of a bygone era in the parlour of the Local Council of Women’s House make Ghosts a hauntingly memorable piece of theatre.

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