Reviews round-up: The Master Builder at the Old Vic

A reviews round-up for The Master Builder at the Old Vic starring Ralph Fiennes

Ralph Fiennes returns to the stage in this compelling adaptation by David Hare of Henrick Ibsen’s The Master Builder. Skilfully directed by Matthew Warchus, the critics have been bowled over by Fiennes magnetic performance as the complex protagonist Halvard Solness.

Fiennes leads the cast alongside American actress Linda Emond (Aline Solness), Sarah Snook (Hilde Wangel), James Laurenson (Knut Brovnik), James Dreyfus (Dr Herdal) and Charlie Cameron (Kaja Fosli).

The Master Builder runs until 19 March 2016 at the Old Vic Theatre.


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Average Critics Rating


The Daily Telegraph
'extraordinary' ‘Ralph Fiennes is the epitome of a particular type of wounded masculine charisma. And few theatrical protagonists exude that quality with more appalling potency than Henrik Ibsen’s Master Builder, Halvard Solness.’ ‘Matthew Warchus’s beautifully controlled and intelligent production is all shifting nuance and finely calibrated detail, from Hugh Vanstone’s subtle score to the faint drift of dry ice that intimates Hilde’s fatal otherworldliness and the remarkable nuances of physicality with which the actors embody their roles – Fiennes’s clumsy delicacy; Aline’s tense repression; Hilde’s dangerous lushness. The final, extraordinary moment seems both utterly shocking and the inevitable conclusion of all that has gone before.’
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The Guardian
‘You come out of most classic theatre these days discussing the direction and design. The great thing about this show, however, is that you emerge celebrating Ibsen’s play, David Hare’s adaptation and Ralph Fiennes’s magnetic central performance.’ ‘The joy of the evening lies in watching Fiennes at the height of his powers and relishing a play that offers one of the most searing self-portraits in drama.’
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Evening Standard
'Ralph Fiennes is riveting as the title character in Henrik Ibsen’s dense and strange play. Otherwise known as Halvard Solness, the master builder is a complex figure, and Fiennes’s performance is a finely measured mixture of wit, vigour, prickliness and anxiety.' ‘A production that speaks hauntingly about the dark heart of ambition and the madness of desire.’
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Time Out
‘Ralph Fiennes gives a titanic performance in this bizarre late Ibsen….. he wrestles staggering performances out of difficult material: what Leo does to a bison carcass in ‘The Revenant’, Ralph does to words in ‘The Master Builder’’.
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📷 Main photo: Ralph Fiennes (Halvard Solness) in The Master Builder at The Old Vic. Photo: Manuel Harlan

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