Directed by James Macdonald, Ibsen's "devastating and darkly comic play" also stars Fiona Shaw (a Tony Award nominee for Medea) as Borkman's wife Gunhild and Tony winner Lindsay Duncan (Private Lives) as her twin sister, Ella. According to the Abbey, the staging will receive its U.S. premiere in New York City in January 2011. That booking has not been officially announced; a Rickman-directed Creditors appeared at Brooklyn Academy of Music in spring 2009, leading to speculation that BAM is the future home of the Ibsen play.
Rickman is widely known for his stage and film roles, from Private Lives and Les Liaisons Dangereuses to "Die Hard" and the "Harry Potter" films. He and Duncan were both Tony-nominated playing lovers in Private Lives and Les Liaisons on Broadway; she won the Best Actress Tony for the former.
The John Gabriel Borkman cast also includes Cathy Belton, John Kavanagh, Amy Molloy, Marty Rea and Joan Sheehy. The run at the Abbey Stage continues to Nov. 20.
Here's how Abbey bills the play: "John Gabriel Borkman was once a great man. Wealthy, powerful, revered. He gave up love for success and was handsomely rewarded. But now, disgraced and destitute after a financial scandal and jail, the former director of the bank paces out each day, alone in an upstairs room, planning his comeback. Downstairs, his wife Gunhild (Fiona Shaw) lives a parallel life, plotting for their son to restore the family's reputation. The claustrophobia of their lives is shattered once and for all with the arrival of Gunhild's twin sister Ella (Lindsay Duncan), the woman whose love Borkman gave away…"
The creative team includes set designer Tom Pye, lighting designer Jean Kalman, sound designer Ian Dickinson and costume designer Joan Bergin. For more information, visit www.abbeytheatre.ie.