Thu 17 Oct
by Henrik Ibsen
translated by Peter Zadek and Gottfried Greiffenhagen
Premiere 17. October 2024

After many years, Gregers returns to his father’s house. His father, a successful businessman, offers him a job running the company as he is having to step aside due to ill health. Gregers rejects this offer and moves in with his old friend Hjalmar Ekdal, a dreamer at odds with life, who lives in very modest cirucmstances together with his wife and daughter Hedwig. While the Ekdals wait for commissions downstairs in their photo studio, upstairs in the attic they have established a refuge from the harsh realities of everyday life, where they care for an injured wild duck and keep rabbits.    

Gregers discovers that his father has been secretly supporting the Ekdals financially and becomes wary: why is this capitalist suddenly behaving like a philanthropist?  

«This play,» Ibsen himself wrote, «does not deal with political or social or public affairs of any kind. It operates exclusively within the arena of family life.» However, in this tragedy he demonstrates how the capitalist system affects people’s personal lives and erodes social cohesion.  

The Norwegian Johannes Holmen Dahl is one of the most sought-after directors in Scandinavia. He now makes his German debut at the Residenztheater staging a major work by his famous compatriot. For him, «The Wild Duck» by Henrik Ibsen – who spent many years living in Munich’s Maximilianstraße, whose psychologicaly astute plays had a strong influence on German theatre and who wrote for the Residenztheater of the time – also resonates with the conflict between generations now:

«While the adults are only concerned with themselves, Hedwig, the sole representative of the younger generation, suffers from being neglected by them. Hedwig not only symbolises an individual’s love of nature, her tragic role also represents the environmental crisis that dominates our world.»

Johannes Holmen Dahl

Artistic Direction

Stage Design und Costume Design Nia Damerell
Composition Alf Lund Godbolt
Lighting Verena Mayr
Dramaturgy Hege Randi Tørressen,  Almut Wagner