Performance Analysis between Ibsen’s Play Ghosts and Robert Lepage’s play The Blue Dragon [University] [Instructor Name] Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen and The Blue Dragon by Robert Lepage are two plays that deal with unique issues…
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Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen Henrik Ibsen is known for his plays that portray issues regarding morality. Ghosts is also one of the plays that represent 19th century morality through its characters. This is a story of a woman Helen Alving who is about to establish an orphanage in the memory of her dead husband. Mrs. Alving consults her spiritual adviser Pastor Manders as well. Throughout the play, Mrs. Alving is seen dealing with different issues related to morality thrown at her from different aspects of life. Mrs. Alving has been trying to save her family from her philandering husband throughout the story. In order to save her son from being corrupted by his father, she sends her away. Her worries double when it is disclosed that her son is suffering from an inherited sexually transmitted disease which cannot be cured. In addition to a large number of moral issues, another issue is raised in the play when Mrs. Alving finds out that her son Oswald has fallen in love with Regina Engstrand, Helen Alving’s maid. The morality comes into question when it is disclosed that Regina is an illegitimate daughter of Captain Alving, thus Oswald’s half-sister. Amid all the problems, Mrs. Alving is occupied in the dilemma of whether or not to euthanize her son as he wishes. Thus, another issue of morality i.e. euthanasia is raised towards the end of the play. Regarding the performance of the play, it was observed that the acting was not psychologically engaged. The actors did not put their heart and mind into bringing the play to life. It felt like a flat delivery of the script and did not have any feel to it. The fact that Ibsen’s script is very strong cannot be denied but in order to show the significance of the play, it has to be acted well as well. Thus, it can be said that the significance of the issues raised by this play were lost somewhere amid the poor acting by the actors. The overall theatrical setting was not impressive as well, as it was observed that the theatrical setting required rich context but here it was merely flat which lowered the significance of the play. In some of the scenes, it was observed that the lines were delivered in a flat manner rather than in a dynamic tone. For example; when Manders interrogates Regina, the interrogation seemed reckless and flat rather than being serious and dramatic. The delivery of lines was mostly flat and without any expressions. In order to bring the feel into a play, it is highly important that the lines be delivered in just the manner as intended by the writer otherwise the meaning of the lines may be lost. This was the case with this play where the meaning and significance of the lines were lost amid the lack of expressions by the actors. It was noticed that there was lack of sufficient discussion among the actors before the play. There was no psychological connection between the actors and everyone seemed to deliver his own lines without considering the intensity of the response from the opposite actor. It was also observed that actors crashed into one another’s lines. This was the evidence of the fact that there was lack of sufficient practice. The characteristic of a good theatre is that it connects its audience emotionally but this attribute was missing in the overall performance. There were certain bits where the actors emanated feelings such as the grief shown by Oswald upon his condition. The point that was done well was the representation of the tension
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