Review: LILLE EYOLF at Dramaten

Ibsen in new adaption

By: Feb. 15, 2024
Review: LILLE EYOLF at Dramaten
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Ibsen wrote Little Eyolf at the end of the 19th century, but it feels modern and up-to-date in this production. Alfred (Erik Ehn) is torn between his writing and being a present father to his nine-year-old son Eyolf, who is paralyzed in one leg after a fall as a baby. Rita (Livia Millhagen) is deeply in love with her husband and wants exclusive rights to him. She is jealous of his writing, their son and Alfred's sister Asta (Karin Franz Körlof). Then the tragic thing happens that Eyolf drowns and the worst that can happen has happened. A play full of strong emotions, unhealthy relationships, sadness, shame, passion interspersed with each other. Interesting how much stronger it becomes when Ibsen lets Rita was the one with strong possessiveness in a time when we read almost daily about how some man murdered the person he lives with because she is about to leave

The acting is fantastic. They dig deep into the emotional register and act out their feelings with intensity and power. To enhance the emotions even more, set designer Sven Haraldsson has used the technique of filming directly in the performance and projecting the film onto the wall. A grip that only partially works as reinforcement. Because at the same time that faces and emotional expressions are shown on a large screen, a distance is created from the audience and it becomes more of a cinema feeling than a stage feeling. Especially as in many of the scenes you don't see the actors on stage but only filmed.

It's strongest when the actors are on stage and get to shine with their strong emotional expressions that are balanced without exaggeration.

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