book cover of Ibsen\'s Ghost

Ibsen's Ghost

A Book by

This play was written in 1891, when Barrie was already well-established as a novelist and journalist, being the same year in which he wrote his most successful novel, The Little Minister. Barrie had had one attempt at presenting a play previously in April that year. It was titled Richard Savage, on which he had collaborated with H. B. Marriott Watson, and it ran for only one night. Sadly, the play no longer survives in print.
His second play is a dramatic parody or burlesque on the works of the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, whose plays had created a furore in the theatre world. Ghosts (1881) caused a scandal with its frank portrayal of the inherited venereal disease syphilis and was as much as anything responsible for Ibsen's reputation as an author of 'problem plays', dramas whose principal concern was to illuminate social issues.
Just over a month after Barrie's first dramatic attempt, Ibsen's Ghost appeared on Saturday, 20th May at Toole's Theatre, with the comic actor, J. L. Toole, playing the lead. It was the first public performance of a play by J. M. Barrie alone. Toole apparently paid Barrie three guineas for the play, and as Toole had only just returned from a long tour of the antipodes, he had been out of England while the fierce controversy raged round the plays of Ibsen. The sub-title - Toole Up To Date - therefore presents a play on words. Not only was it falling into the current nineteenth century burlesque practice of bringing plays 'up-to-date', but it also implies the belated entry of Toole into the Ibsen fray. Ibsen's Ghost played to packed houses until Toole let his theatre in July and went on tour until Boxing Day that year.

Genre: General Fiction

Used availability for J M Barrie's Ibsen's Ghost

Paperback Editions

August 1975 : UK Paperback

Title: Ibsen's Ghost: A Play in One Act
Author(s): Sir J M Barrie
ISBN: 0-900821-33-7 / 978-0-900821-33-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Cecil Woolf
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU