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John Gabriel Borkman


  • Playwright

    Frank McGuinness 

  • Adapted / Translated From

    Henrik Ibsen 

  • Author Notes

    A new version from a literal translation of Ibsen's 1896 play.

  • Setting

    The action takes place during a winter evening at the Rentheim family estate outside the capital.

  • Synopsis

    John Gabriel Borkman was once a great man. Wealthy, powerful, revered. He gave up love for success and was handsomely rewarded.

    But now, disgraced and destitute after a financial scandal and jail, the former director of the bank paces out each day, alone in an upstairs room, planning his comeback.

    Downstairs his wife Gunhild lives a parallel life, plotting for their son to restore the family’s reputation. The claustrophobia of their lives is shattered once and for all with the arrival of Gunhild’s twin sister Ella, the woman whose love Borkman gave away…

  • Play Type


    Number Of Acts


  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Size Female



Original Cast  
Mrs Fanny Wilton Cathy Belton
Malene Joan Sheehy
Vilhelm Foldal John Kavanagh (1)
Erhart Borkman Marty Rea
Mrs Gunhild Borkman Fiona Shaw
John Gabriel Borkman Alan Rickman
Miss Ella Rentheim Lindsay Duncan
Frida Foldal Amy Molloy
Production Team  
Rigger Flywire/ The Rigging Corporation
Director James MacDonald
Set Designer Tom Pye
Lighting Designer Jean Kalman
Costume Designer Joan Bergin
Sound Designer Ian Dickinson
Voice Director Andrea Ainsworth
Assistant Director Sophie Motley
Deputy Stage Manager Tara Furlong
Assistant Stage Manager Róisín Coyle
Company Stage Manager Stephen Dempsey
Set Construction Object Construction
Graphic Design Zero- G
Photography Ros Kavanagh
Piano Tuition Conor Linehan
Sign Language Interpreter Amanda Coogan
Furniture Buyer Lily Mollgaard
Tour Producer Pádraig Cusack
Casting Director Holly Ní Chiardha
Literal translation by Charlotte Barslund
Hair & Make-Up Val Sherlock
Captioning Ruth McCreery
Captioning Paula McRedmond
Audio Description Emer Cassidy



  • Territory

    All Territories

  • Rights Type

    All Rights

  • Contact

    Mel Kenyon, Casarotto Ramsay & Associates Ltd

  • Address

    Waverley House, 7-12 Noel Street
    London W1F 8GQ

  • Phone

    + 44 (0)20 7287 4450

  • Email


The information for this entry was taken from the original production programme.