2005., Toronto Soulpepper
“…stellar cast under the careful, sensitive direction of Laszlo Marton…”
“Young Martha MacIsaac is a find…sensitive, innocent and supremely gifted.”
“One of the finest things Soulpepper has ever achieved.”
“…William Webster is magnificent.”
—Globe and Mail
”MacIsaac plays innocent Hedwig with a real spark of intelligence…”
“…an electrifying production!”
“…the entire cast gives note-worthy performances…”
“Soulpepper’s production is unmissable.”
Review by Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press Drama Critic[…]Ibsen’s classic play, directed in a clean, straightforward manner by Laszlo Marton, tells the story of one family torn apart by the truth.
Marton’s low key, unfussy direction, with its emphasis on crisp movement and clear storytelling, becomes steadily more impressive. The assurance with which he and the cast plot the play’s shifting moods, from sardonic satire to bitter comedy to horrible tragedy, makes for absorbing theatre […] this is a captivating and unexpectedly enjoyable production of an oddly timely play. It will certainly tell you as much about truth, lies, and scandals in two-and-a-half hours as the same period spent at a tribunal.
The Irish Times
10 July, 2003
A familiar cast comprised of some of Ireland’s most talented actors are directed into the statosphere by Hungarian director László Marton; it might seem that they have been asked to do “less” than ususal, but in fact they are asked to do much, much more. The understated approach that Marton has taken towards Ibsen’s text (in a new version by Frank McGuinness) allows each and every player to fully embody their characters in a way that few directors demand. In place of what often appears to be uncontrolled emoting, we are presented with truthful, human behaviour, rich in believability, with plenty of room for explosions of passion and grief […] This wonderful productoin is the highlight of the Dublin theatre season thus far, and Marton’s direction should be taken as a master class for any practitioners who would like to move beyond the declamatory early nineteenth century mode that seems to define much of Irish theatre making.
10 July, 2003
A new version of Ibsen’s The Wild Duck is a major theatrical event.
13 July, 2003
This production reaches successfully for humour as it plunges to tragedy, with a touch of farcial humour and despair.
The Sunday Business Post
13 July, 2003
Hungarian director László Marton makes brilliant use of the stage at the Peacock, with excellent blocking and precise movement which succeeds in sustaining the illusion of naturalism in the presence of a symbollically and thematically charged space. Every actor seems comfortable with the complexities of the text and every nuance of psychological tension has been drawn out though controlled yet fluid direction.
9 July, 2003
Hungarian director László Marton perfectly pitches the farcial moments against the unfolding backdrop of horror in a choreography that is profoundly disturbing at climactic moments.
What ‘ s Going On
László Marton’s brilliant and difficult version of the play cuts to the quick.
16 July, 2003
Thanks to Hungarian director László Marton and Soulpepper Theatre, Canada can finally know the true power and haunting anomalies of Ibsen. Marton does for Ibsen what he did earlier for Chekhov: he makes a venerated European playwright seem fresh, iconoclastic, and moving. He makes the old seem new — not necessarily all unassailable in mode, but certainly a form of presentation that challenges preconceptions or stereotypes […] Marton’s production shows that Ibsen can be as affecting as Chekhov, if not quite as tender. This Wild Duck is a mixture of dark and light elements, discomfiting gloom, chilling anxiety, wry farce. It is the best Ibsen ever done in Toronto, and it gives ample evidence that Soulpepper is the best ensemble in the country when it comes to drama. What other repertory company has succeeded the way Soulpepper has in its brief but invaluable history? […] this Wild Duck is a huge triumph, thanks to a radical director and an ensemble that illuminates a complex play superbly.
Stage and Page website
Ibsen lives caught in secrets grandly acted. Every now and then it takes Soulpepper to make us realize just what we’ve been missing at the theatre. It’s really been too long since Toronto theatre-goers have seen a great play, a superb cast and a production that did them both justice, but that situation was remedied last night with the opening of The Wild Duck […] Director László Marton is in sure control of the material from the very start. The typical opening scene of exposition is delivered by two gossipy servants as they prepare a punch bowl at a party. We suddenly find ourselves listening closely to everything they say, a sensation that is duplicated many times during the evening. Yes, there are moments of of full-throated passion, but it’s the whispered confidences, the barely uttered thoughts that you’ll remember[…] Don’t say that Toronto is lacking world-class theatre. Not while Soulpepper is around to give us shows like this.
Awesome Ibsen. I wonder that Henrik Ibsen’s The Wild Duck isn’t on every high school reading list. And I wonder that we don’t learn better the history of passionate idealism, of feeling like life is based on nothing more than a slick web of deception and illusion. What better, more dynamic group than the good people at Soulpepper to show us the extent of these timeless themes? After directing the piece recently in Ireland, Hungarian director László Marton chooses a staging that makes the most of Ibsen’s psychological subtext.
28 July, 2005
Stellar cast under the careful, sensitive direction of László Marton.
One of the finest things Soulpepper has ever achieved.
Globe and Mail
22 July 2005
An electrifying production!
The entire cast gives note-worthy performances.
Soulpepper’s production is unmissable.
Ibsen’s classic play, directed in a clean, straightforward manner by László Marton, tells the story of one family torn apart by the truth […] The Wild Duck is a difficult play to pull off, often collapsing into hysteria. Not so here. Marton and company have given us a revival that genuinely takes flight.
Associated Press Drama Critic
A cruelly effective Wild Duck. Ibsen’s The Wild Duck is usually described as a play about two kinds of lies – the high sounding ones known as ideals, imposed from without and generally fatal, and the more mundane falsehoods that people tell themselves, and hope others will believe, just so their lives will be bearable. “The truth will set you free” goes up against “humankind cannot bear very much reality”, and loses. The description’s accurate but it sounds and is, schematic. László Marton is a director more interested in people than in abstractions, merciless in his eye for detail, charitable in his overall vision. In his production for Soulpepper, one of the finest things he or they have achieved, The Wild Duck is revealed as the most moving play ever to be written on a subject that’s painfully specific: cruelty to children, across two generations.