Theatre review: En Folkefiende

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This ambitious modern-day adaptation of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People has a massive team behind it, which includes playwright Brad Birch, innovative theatre company Squint and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.

Star rating: **

Venue: Pleasance Dome (Venue 23)

Through reimagining the role of whistleblower Tom Stockmann as a woman (played by Seren Vickers), it pairs Ibsen’s tale of local authority corruption with a commentary on the way women are undermined in the workplace.

It’s an imaginative new take, but with so many people involved, the overall vision feels fragmented and, ultimately, overpowered by a huge revolving set, upon which images are projected. Thumping drums between scenes add to the feeling that there can be only one star here: the production design.

While the story of individual greed and institutional self-interest is ever topical, the problem is that the characters get lost. The able cast rattle through their smart dialogue, but the world of the piece is corporate, cold and non-specific in a way that, despite its superficial sparkle, it’s difficult to engage with.

Until 28 August. Today 5pm.

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