Ibsen revival: Why the playwright can still change our lives

(Paul Taylor's article appeared in the Independent, 2/12.)

Henrik Ibsen was one of the giants of the 19th-century stage. But his plays are not locked in their time, as two new revivals demonstrate. Paul Taylor reveals how the Norwegian's dramas illuminate our own age

One of his secret habits speaks volumes about the scale and insecurity of the ego of Henrik Ibsen, the second-greatest dramatist of the 19th century. Glued to the inner crown of his top hat there was a little mirror in which he could surreptitiously check his appearance from time to time in all its unprepossessing gravitas. He was on the small side and strove to disguise, in a fierce bristling of whiskers, what he lacked in natural attractiveness.

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