Barinder Saluja, Chandigarh,Dec. 08 : The second day of the Chandigarh IBSEN Festival unfolded with the play titled “When we dead awaken”. The evening was inaugurated by … in the presence of senior officials of the Chandigarh Adminstration. When We Dead Awaken was the last play Ibsen wrote before he died. Ibsen’s final play Directed by Lithuanian director Saulius Antanas Varnas, revolves around two characters i.e. Arnold Rubek a sculptor and Irene, his subject.
Arnold Rubek is an ageing, celebrated sculptor who has achieved great international fame with his sculpture ‘The Day of the Resurrection’. The model for this piece of sculpture was Irene, who earlier had considered it her lifework to accompany Rubek and help him in his work. They appear to have had strong feelings for each other at that time, but Rubek refused to consider Irene as anything more than his model, so, disappointed and angry, she left him. Since then, Rubek’s creative power has diminished, and he now feels that he can no longer create art of any significance. Irene, alone, holds the key to his creativity. He has married Maja, a considerably younger woman, and the two of them have lived abroad in a marriage that has gradually become somewhat cool.
The play opens with Rubek and Maja staying at a seaside hotel in Norway. They meet Ulfheim, a landowner and bear-hunter, who invites Maja to get up into the mountains with him. One of the guests at the hotel is a mysterious woman dressed in white and accompanied by a nurse. This turns out to be Irene. She has been married twice, and has been in a mental hospital. She seems to be in the grip of a ‘living death’, and in a painful confrontation she accuses Rubek of having ruined her life and stolen her soul. For his part he begs her to come back to him so that he can regain his creative power. The two of them go up into the mountains to become lovers again. Near the top they meet Maja and Ulfheim. A storm blows up, and Maja and Ulfheim go down the mountain into safety, while Irene and Rubek go on towards the peak, where they die in an avalanche.
Ibsen, considered to be the father of modern drama, was a Norwegian playwright. He is responsible for “realistic drama. Tomorrow the play Peer Gynt, Directed by : Deepan Sivaraman will be staged at 6.30 pm at the Tagore Theatre.