Director Brian Richmond (centre) gives guidance to actors Amanda Lisman (Hilde) and David Ferry (Halvard Solness) in rehearsals for The Master Builder, Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre’s next production, opening May 28 at the Roxy Theatre. Photo by Rebekah Johnson

REVIEW: Dark but not Gloomy – Blue Bridge’s The Master Builder

By Sheila Martindale

Sometimes the thing you dread most can appear suddenly as wonderfully attractive. What you felt was a threat to your career and personal happiness comes as an invigorating surprise.

In Ibsen’s brilliant play The Master Builder, showing at Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre until June 9, accomplished architect Halvard Solness is doing everything to prevent his apprentice from catching him up and overtaking him, because he knows how good Ragmar is. Meanwhile, a vibrant young woman he met 10 years previously, comes into his life like a hurricane, and over the course of three acts, completely changes his perspective. It amounts to the same thing – the young pushing the older away to make room.

David Ferry and Amanda Lisman portray these two characters with passion and aplomb; the play holds our attention riveted for almost three hours (yes, be prepared for a late night if you go!) Solness’ wife is played by Jan Wood, who manages this complex role beautifully. There are hints of instability – one wonders why she grieved more over her lost dolls in a house fire, than and over her children who died due to contaminated milk. The other characters in the play are all minor, but essential to the plot. The entire cast works as a whole, resulting in a dynamic, seamless production.

There is nothing light about Henrik Ibsen, writing in the last half of the 19th century, with his Scandinavian background featuring long dark nights and a cold climate. As always, his plays leave us with more questions than answers – therein lies his skill. Director Brian Richmond is talented in the direction of ‘dark’ and always gives us meaty and thought-provoking pieces of theatre. The Master Builder is definitely among his best.

You should definitely go. For tickets and information go to bluebridgetheatre.ca or call 250-382-3370.

Just Posted

Deep Island connection for indie rockers Half Moon Run

Montreal-based band brings their dreamy sound to Victoria for Jan. 14 show at the Royal

Have your New Year’s Eve set? Try out these musical gala options

Greater Victoria venues featuring local bands to ring in 2020

Ladysmith set to star in new Syfy series, Resident Alien

Island town will play the role of Patience, Colo. in the series

Jim Cuddy Band members turn trio for next Victoria show

Jan. 11 stop at the McPherson Playhouse part of the Countrywide Soul tour

The Strumbellas grow their award-winning sound organically

Juno-winning band makes a rare West Coast appearance at the Royal Theatre for Jan. 9 concert

VIDEO: Led by ‘Marriage Story,’ Netflix dominates Golden Globe noms

Netflix flexed its muscles across all categories, just as it is girding for battle with a host of new streaming services

B.C. family’s ‘Feud’ game-show trip was ‘meant to happen’ after father’s death

Surrey resident Atish Ram’s departed father ‘loved game shows’

‘Jurassic World 3’ will film in Metro Vancouver under working title ‘Arcadia’

Filming is set to take place between Feb. 24 and March 6, 2020

Bursary created in memory of late Duncan musician triples in second year

Young Vancouver Island musicians in financial need can apply by Dec. 15

Talking about tubas! Annual concert attracts hundreds to Market Square

The 2019 edition of Tuba Christmas concert and fundraiser goes this Saturday in the square

Yellowpoint holiday spectacle returns this weekend

Musical variety show offers a wide range of genres, along with many of your seasonal favourites

Carolling in Cadboro Bay Village helps fund music at Mount Doug Secondary

Singing set for 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1, in Cadboro Bay Village.

VIDEO: Celine Dion tops Billboard 200 for first time in over 17 years

‘Courage’ is Dion’s fifth album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200

Most Read