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Summary

The Master Builder by Henrik Ibsen, in a new version by David Hare.

Master builder Halvard Solness is a self-made man. With no professional qualifications, he has built himself up through ruthless ambition and achieved a position of power and domination in his home town. But his success has come at a cost. His marriage is empty, destroyed by a personal tragedy that has left him wracked with guilt and pain, and he is increasingly frightened of failure and being displaced by the next generation.

Then a mysterious young woman, Hilde Wangel, appears from the mountains, claiming to have met Solness 10 years earlier, when she was only 13. She asserts that he kissed her and promised her a kingdom: and now she has returned to claim it. Halvard becomes besotted with Hilde, seeing her as a breath of fresh air, revitalising his life with her youthful energy. And Hilde flatters and praises him, rebuilding his ego. But has she come to seduce him - or to destroy him?

With mystical undertones and resonances for the #MeToo movement, this searing tragedy of middle-aged male hubris explores the troubled psyche of a successful, abusive man who has risen to the greatest heights, only to be toppled from his peak. David Schofield stars as Solness, with Siobhan Redmond as his wife, Aline and Laura Aikman as Hilde.

Also included is a bonus programme, In Our Time: Henrik Ibsen, in which Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the great Norwegian playwright and poet.

Cast and credits:

Solness - David Schofield

Aline - Siobhan Redmond

Hilde - Laura Aikman

Brovik - Paul Bradley

Dr Herdal - Jonathan Tafler

Kaja - Shannon Hayes

Ragnar - Joseph Ayre

The Master Builder by Henrik Ibsen

In a new version by David Hare

Based on a literal translation by Torkil Heggstad

Directed and produced by Gary Brown

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 15th-22nd August 2021

In Our Time: Henrik Ibsen

Presented by Melvyn Bragg

With Tore Rem, Kirsten Shepherd-Barr and Dinah Birch

Produced by Simon Tillotson

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 31st May 2018

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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Stupid Woman Spoils This

The ridiculous woman played by actress Laura Aikman who moans on & on “Oh my master builder” totally ruined this play for me. I am delighted David Schofield is the main character & plays a good part so I give 5 stars for him.