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The Cut, Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8NB


Ended 19 Mar 2016 after 56 days

"Fiennes at the height of his powers."

The Guardian

Closed 19 Mar 2016


Ralph Fiennes kicks off Matthew Warchus' inaugural season at the Old Vic in the title role of Henrik Ibsen's The Master Builder, in a new adaptation by David Hare. Often celebrated as a work of realism, this exploration of one man's infatuation with a younger woman and his self-given "God complex" sees how one person's misfortune can lead to fortuitous circumstance for another. It has been linked to Ibsen's own personal experiences whilst on holiday, when he embarked on a brief but passionate affair with a younger woman and carries the ages-old lesson that success often comes at a heavy price.

What is it about?

Set in Norway, Halvard Solness is the middle-aged architect of churches and other buildings of note, and has as a result, received much recognition for his work. Whilst receiving a visit from his old friend, a young woman called Hilde appears - and it soons become apparent that she and Solness are already acquainted. For 10 years ago when Solness was on holiday, he had met 14-year old Hilde and attempted to seduce her. Now she appears, eager to pick up where things left off, even though he is married. Once convinced that she is telling the truth, he warily takes her into his home as a housekeeper.

In the meantime, Solness' architectural firm is going from strength to strength, and upon the revelation of one of his employee's personal tragedy, he gleefully believes that he had wished it from God, in order that he may succeed in his own business. However, Solness has a secret of his own; he has a terror of heights. Coaxed by Hilde to climb the spire of one of his new buildings, in the belief that he will win her heart once and for all, a catastrophe occurs - and Hilde's true colours and motives are revealed to devastating effect.

Additional Information


Previews from: 23 January 2016

Opening night: 29 January 2016

Closing night: 19 March 2016


Suitable for ages 12+

Run time

to be confirmed

Show times


What You Say

1 reviews, average rating: (1.0 Stars)

Suzanne Logeman: “So Disappointing”

Sadly, this production is horribly marred by Hare's uneven Interpretation ... more

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