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David Porter » Reviews » An Enemy of the People

An Enemy of the People

Sewell Barn Theatre, Norwich

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 23 March 2007

An Enemy of the People

Marking the centenary of Henrik Ibsen’s death, this classic of ideas and social issues resonates sharply, sadly, with today.

The whistle-blower becomes the outcast; the baying mob damns the man with the conscience.

A doctor finds impurities from a factory in the town bathwater supply. The revelation incurs the wrath of the business community including his own bother.

Director Peter James brings to life the upturning of stones through Victorian characters and the constraints of the stage shape with more humour than one would have thought possible from Ibsen.

The doctor (Bob Young) carries rebel’s passion well and his funereal brother (Ralph Yarrow) is an excellent foil. Petra (Rachel Miller), the doctor’s daughter, is a chip from his block while her mother (Imogen Fletcher) walks the line between wifely loyalty and practicality.

All in all, the evening is an unexpectedly stirring and inspirational warning from the past.

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