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Chasing Ibsen

    by Caroline Summerfield



Synopsis

Drama Play Script: 'Chasing Ibsen' by Caroline Summerfield

Set in a large city, the play opens with the unexplained death of Lizzie's husband, Bob,  in a fire at their hotel. Lizzie's two closest friends, Maggie, the down-to-earth owner of a contract cleaning company, and Sue, a celebrity-obsessed hairdresser are waiting in Lizzie's home. They plan to be the supportive friends and help Lizzie with the funeral arrangements. However, there is no sign of Lizzie, until she returns home as the 'merry widow' from an extravagant shopping spree.

Her friends are confused and concerned by Lizzie's odd behaviour, and their suspicions grow concerning the true cause of Bob's death when nemesis arrives in the form of Mr Kingsland. He is the loss adjuster, sent by the insurers of the hotel who are suspicious about the true cause of the hotel fire.

Lizzie a trained actress, seems more concerned about securing a once-in-a life-time opportunity to join a touring production of Ibsen's 'A Doll's House', than the death of her late husband and a web of lies and deception starts to unfold as she pursues her ambition.  But Mr Kingsland is determined to get to the truth and like Nora in Ibsen's 'A Doll's House', Lizzie's deceit  will prove to be her undoing, for, like Nora, Lizzie may have forged a signature, in this case that of her late husband's on the building's insurance policy for the hotel.

Fearful of discovery, Lizzie  contemplates suicide, but her friends arrive to save her. It is only then, that they all reveal that they have been lying and the truth is then revealed.  Like Nora, confronting the truth for Lizzie is her only path to salvation. Where Nora decides at the end of 'A Doll's House' to leave her children and her controlling husband, Lizzie's  moral choice is to leave her friends.

'Chasing Ibsen' is a gripping psychological drama, which asks a question fundamental of us all - just how well do you know your best friends?

Characters

(3f)

  • Maggie: A no nonsense Northern business -woman with her own contract cleaning business. She is has never known true love and compensates for this by appearing bossy and business like at all times to her friends. She lost her mother when she was twelve and was left by her father to bring up her younger brothers and sisters. She is northern and proud of it. It is lack of education not intelligence which has held her back in life.
  • Sue: Well-meaning owner of a large modern and very successful hairdressing salon. Also proud of her northern roots, heavily into fashion and glamour generally. Sees Posh Spice as her role model and judges the entire world through the tabloids and celebrity magazines which she reads. Happily married to ‘Our Jason’.
  • Lizzie: Bob's widow and a former actress. Unlike Maggie and Sue she is the outsider and not a northerner bread and born. Her diction when she speaks can still suggest a northern intonation, but should make it clear that she has a trained voice. She is part Norwegian and is very excited by the prospect of returning to her acting career in a Norwegian touring production of Ibsen's 'A Doll's House'. Her marriage to Bob, a failed businessman has been difficult and now she is free, but there is an immaturity about her which leaves her ill-prepared to cope with life on her own.


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