Ghosts | Almeida Theatre, London
Image iwantdesign Photo Hugo Glendinning


by Henrik Ibsen
adapted and directed by Richard Eyre
Thu 26 Sep 2013 - Sat 23 Nov 2013

Helene Alving has spent her life suspended in an emotional void after the death of her cruel but outwardly charming husband. She is determined to escape the ghosts of her past by telling her son, Oswald, the truth about his father.

But on his return from his life as a painter in France, Oswald reveals how he has already inherited the legacy of Alving’s dissolute life.

Lesley Manville leads the cast as Helene in Richard Eyre’s new adaptation of Ibsen’s play. One of Britain’s most respected actresses, Lesley Manville was last seen on stage in the National Theatre’s 2012 production of Grief. Her recent screen credits include May Day (BBC) and the Mike Leigh film Another Year, for which she won numerous awards.

Richard Eyre’s most recent production for the Almeida was last year’s acclaimed The Dark Earth and the Light Sky. He previously directed Hedda Gabler in 2005, which he also adapted. His recent stage productions include Quartermaine’s Terms (Wyndham’s Theatre) and The Pajama Game (Chichester Festival Theatre).

The running time is approximately 90 minutes. There is no interval.

  • Charlene McKenna (Regina Engstrand) and Leslie Manville (Helene Alving) in GhostsCharlene McKenna (Regina Engstrand) and Leslie Manville (Helene Alving) in Ghosts - Hugo Glendinning
  • Will Keen (Pastor Manders) and Jack Lowden (Oswald Alving) in GhostsWill Keen (Pastor Manders) and Jack Lowden (Oswald Alving) in Ghosts - Hugo Glendinning
  • Will Keen (Pastor Manders), Jack Lowden (Oswald Alving) and Lesley Manville (Helene Alving) in GhostsWill Keen (Pastor Manders), Jack Lowden (Oswald Alving) and Lesley Manville (Helene Alving) in Ghosts - Hugo Glendinning
  • Will Keen (Pastor Manders) and Lesley Manville (Helene Alving) in GhostsWill Keen (Pastor Manders) and Lesley Manville (Helene Alving) in Ghosts - Hugo Glendinning
  • Lesley Manville (Helene Alving) and Jack Lowden (Oswald Alving) in GhostsLesley Manville (Helene Alving) and Jack Lowden (Oswald Alving) in Ghosts - Hugo Glendinning
  • Charlene McKenna (Regina Engstrand) and Brian McCardie (Jacob Engstrand) in GhostsCharlene McKenna (Regina Engstrand) and Brian McCardie (Jacob Engstrand) in Ghosts - Hugo Glendinning

"A production that does full justice to this thrilling, harrowing play."
Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph, 4 October 2013
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"A masterpiece of compassion... Richard Eyre's new version has glories too many to list."
Libby Purves, The Times, 6 October 2013
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" far and away the best production I have ever seen at the theatre."
Tim Walker, Sunday Telegraph, 6 October 2013
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"A spell-binding production."
The Independent, 4 October 2013
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"Richard Eyre's powerfully intimate version of Ibsen's Ghosts is a triumph."
Susannah Clapp, The Observer, 6 October 2013
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"Grabs you by the throat and never releases its grip... extraordinary production."
Michael Billington, Guardian, 4 October 2013
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"Superbly acted and powerfully staged."
Christopher Hart, The Sunday Times, 6 October 2013

"Eyre's staging is compellingly vibrant, with an assured sense of itself."
Fiona Mountford , Evening Standard, 7 October 2013
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"A triumph - the combination of the intelligent performances and the mesmerising aesthetic make this the most lucid and affecting version of the play I have ever seen.
Rachel Halliburton, Time Out, 4 October 2013
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"Immaculate performances... powerfully moving production."
Siobhan Murphy, Metro, 7 October 2013
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"Ibsen's spirit lives on."
Neil Norman, Daily Express, 4 October 2013


“Perfection at its best.”

“A superb production. One of the best performances of a play I have seen for a long time.”

“I thought it was amazing… Lesley Manville was incredible.”

“I can’t say how much I enjoyed seeing [Lesley Manville’s] stunning performance – so beautifully acted, staged and lit – it really was a brilliant production – a real tour de force - and I felt very lucky to see it.”


“A theatrical highlight of 2013.”

“Amazing actress, [Lesley Manville’s] performance took my breath away.”

“I’ve seen 8 different versions on this play in my life, and this is by far the best performance!”

To see what our audiences are saying on Twitter, click here.


Watch the Ghosts trailer here:

Watch a subtitled version of the Ghosts trailer here:


Jack Lowden

Jack trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Theatre includes: Chariots of Fire (Hampstead Theatre / West End); Black Watch (National Theatre of Scotland / Barbican/ US Tour);Sweet Sorrow; Crime & Punishment; Uncle Vanya; A View From the Bridge; Peter Pan (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland).

Television includes: The Tunnel; Mrs. Biggs; Blue Haven; Being Victor.

Film includes: uwantme2killhim?; 71

Will Keen

For the Almeida: Waste; Tom & Viv; Five Gold Rings.  

Theatre includes: Quartermaine’s Terms (West End); Hysteria; Man and Superman; Don Juan (Theatre Royal Bath); Huis Clos; Kiss of the Spiderwoman (Donmar Warehouse); Macbeth; The Changeling (Barbican); The Arsonists (Royal Court); The Rubinstein Kiss (Hampstead Theatre); Pericles; Prince of Homburg (Lyric Hammersmith); Dido, Queen of Carthage; The Tempest; Two Noble Kinsmen (Globe Theatre); The Duchess of Malfi; The Coast of Utopia; Mary Stuart (National Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (West End); The Seagull; Present Laughter; The Tempest (West Yorkshire, Playhouse); Elton John’s Glasses (West End); Phaedra; Traveller without Luggage (BAC).

Television includes: Silk; Hitler on Trial; Garrow’s Law; Titanic; Foyles War; Wired; Casualty 1907; The Colour of Magic; Elizabeth 1; The Impressionists; Holby City; Murphy’s Law; Into the Void; Monsignor Renard; The Bill; For Valour; Do the Right Thing; Martin Chuzzlewit; Between the Lines; Inspector Alleyn.

Film includes: Love and other Disasters; The Nine Lives of Thomas Katz.    

Lesley Manville

Theatre includes: Grief; Her Naked Skin; Pillars of the Community; The Alchemist; His Dark Materials (National Theatre); Six Degrees of Separation; All About My Mother (Old Vic); Some Girls (West End); Top Girls; Serious Money; The Popes Wedding; Falkland Sound; American Bagpipes; Rita, Sue and Bob Too; Borderline; Three Sisters (Royal Court); The Wives Excuse; Les Liaisons Dangereuses; As You Like It; Philistines (RSC); Miss Julie (Greenwich); The Cherry Orchard (Aldwych).

Television includes: An Adventure in Space and Time; Fleming; Mayday; Cranford; North & South; Bodily Harm; Other Peoples’ Children; Promoted to Glory; The Cazalets; David Copperfield; Painted Lady; The Bite; Holding On; Little Napoleons; Real Women; Tears Before Bedtime; A Statement of Affairs; Top Girls; Grown-Ups; The Firm.

Film includes: Maleficent; Romeo and Juliet; Molly Moon The Incredible Hypnotist; The Christmas Candle; Ashes; Spike Island; Another Year; A Christmas Carol; Sparkle; All or Nothing; Topsy-Turvy; Secrets and Lies; High Hopes.

Brian McCardie

Theatre includes: A Doll’s House (National Theatre Scotland); A Number; The Mercy Seat; Gargarin Way (Prime Cut Theatre); Street Angels (Half Moon); The Jim Jones Story (Cumberland Theatre); Red Wind (Partisan Theatre Co); Off the Tracks (Edinburgh Festival); Damaged Goods (Arches Theatre); Life of Stuff (Traverse Theatre); Sex Comedies (Old Red Lion/Tron).

Television includes: The Crash; Mi High; Casualty; Doors Open; Vexed; Case Histories; Line of Duty; The Accused; Taggart; Anywhere But Here; River City; Kiss of Death; Rebus; Shameless; Whistleblowers; Warriors; Lilies; Low Winter Sun; Murphy’s Law; The Bill; Tinsel Town; Kavanagh QC; Kidnapped; Waterfront Beat; Eastenders; Forget About Me; Still Life; Murder Most Horrid; Doctor Finlay; Rik Mayall Presents.

Film includes: Filth; For Those In Peril;  Sleepyhead; Soulboy; The Damned United; Solid Air; Mr Barrington; Beyond City Limits; Rituals and Resolutions; 200 Cigarettes; Speed 2; Ghost and the Darkness; Rob Roy.

Brian trained at Rose Bruford College.

Charlene McKenna

Theatre includes: The Eleventh Capital (Royal Court); Lonesome West (The Lyric, Belfast); Romeo & Juliet; Dancing At Lughnasa (The Garage, Monaghan).

Television includes: Skins Redux: Fire; Ripper Street; Misfits; Raw; Sirens; Law and Order: UK; Being Human; Pure Mule; The Fixer; Whistleblower; Single Handed: Stolen Child; The  Old Curiosity Shop; Kitchen; Prosperity; 99-100­. 

Film includes: A Boy Called Dad; Dorothy Mills; Porcelain; Middletown; Tigers Tale; Small Engine Repair; Breakfast on Pluto.

Charlene received the IFTA Television Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role for Raw and the Award for Outstanding Actress in a Mini-Series at the Monte-Carlo TV Festival for her performance in Whistleblower.

Director Richard Eyre
Design Tim Hatley
Lighting Peter Mumford
Sound John Leonard
Casting Cara Beckinsale
Associate Designer Andrew Edwards
Assistant Director Gaby Dellal
Literal Translator Charlotte Barslund


Richard Eyre

Richard was Director of the National Theatre from 1988 – 1997. He has received numerous major awards; he was knighted in 1997 and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2011.

For the Almeida:
The Dark Earth and the Light Sky; Hedda GablerThe Judas Kiss;The Novice.

Theatre includes: Hamlet; Kafka’s Dick; Edmond (Royal Court); LiolàComedians; Guys and Dolls; The Government Inspector; The Changeling; The Voysey Inheritance; Racing Demon; Richard III; Night of the Iguana; White Chameleon; Skylight; Napoli Milionaria; Sweet Bird of Youth; The Absence of War; John Gabriel Borkman; Amy’s View; King Lear; The Invention of Love; Vincent in Brixton; The Reporter; The Observer; Welcome to Thebes (National Theatre); The Crucible (Broadway); Mary Poppins; Private Lives (West End/Broadway); A Flea in Her Ear (Old Vic); The Last of the Duchess (Hampstead Theatre); Quartermaine’s Terms (West End);

Opera includes: La Traviata (Royal Opera House); La Nozze di Figaro (Aix-en-Prevence); Carmen (Metropolitan Opera).

Television includes: Henry IV Parts I and II; The Insurance Man; Country; Tumbledown; Suddenly Last Summer; Changing Stages.

Film includes: The Ploughman’s Lunch; Iris; Stage Beauty; Notes on a Scandal; The Other Man.

Tim Hatley

For the Almeida: Mrs Klein.

Theatre includes: Timon of Athens; Welcome to Thebes; Rafta Rafta; Present Laughter; Henry IV; The Talking Cure; Vincent in Brixton; Humble Boy; Stanley; Hamlet; Sleep with Me; Darker Face of the Earth; Flight; Caucasian Chalk Circle (National Theatre); Quartermaine’s Terms; The Bodyguard; Don Quixote (Royal Ballet); Betty Blue Eyes; Shrek the Musical; Spamalot; Private Lives; Suddenly Last Summer; The Crucible (Broadway); Endgame;  3 Lives of Lucie Cabrol; Out of a House Walked a Man (Complicite); My Fair Lady (Theatre du Châtelet, Paris).

Opera includes: La Traviata (Vlaamse Opera); Figaro (Aix-en-Provence); Love for 3 Oranges (Cologne); Carmen; Orpheus in the Underworld; Return of Ulysses (Opera North); Ariadne auf Naxos; Il Trovatore (Scottish Opera).

Film includes: Stage Beauty; Closer; Notes on a Scandal.

Exhibitions include: Vivienne Westwood, a London Fashion; Diaghilev and the Ballet Russes (V&A).

He received the Olivier Award for Stanley and Private Lives and the Tony Award for Private Lives and Shrek the Musical.

Peter Mumford

For the Almeida: The Dark Earth and the Light Sky; Parlour Song; RosmersholmHedda Gabler; Cloud Nine; The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?; Earth and the Great Weather; The Storm; Venice Preserved; The Winter Guest; The School for Wives.  

Theatre includes: King Kong (Regent Theatre, Melbourne); Top HatAbsent FriendsMuch Ado About NothingThe Lion in WinterThe MisanthropeAn Ideal HusbandCarouselFiddler on the Roof (West End); The Same Deep Water as Me (Donmar Warehouse); Circle Mirror Transformation; Love and Information; JumpyOur Private Life; Sucker PunchCockThe SeagullDrunk Enough to Say I Love You; Dying City (Royal Court); Betrayal (Sheffield Crucible); The Last of the Duchess (Hampstead Theatre); Testament (Dublin Theatre Festival); A Streetcar Named Desire (Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis); Heartbreak House (Chichester Festival Theatre); Pictures from an Exhibition (Young Vic); Scenes from an ExecutionAll’s Well That Ends WellThe HothouseExiles (National Theatre).

Opera and dance include: The Damnation of Faust; Lucrezia Borgia; Elegy for Young LoversPunch and July (also Geneva); Bluebeard’s Castle; Madam Butterfly (English National Opera); FasterE=MC² (Birmingham Royal Ballet); Pelleas and Melisande (Mariinsky); The Soldier’s Tale; Pierrot Lunaire (Chicago Symphony); Madama ButterflyFaustCarmenPeter Grimes125th Gala (New York Met); Eugene Onegin (LA Opera / Royal Opera House); Passion (Minnesota Opera);  La Cenerentola (Glyndebourne); Carmen (also set design); Petrushka (Scottish Ballet); Il Trovatore (Paris); FidelioTwo WidowsDon GiovanniThe Ring (Scottish Opera); The Midsummer Marriage (Chicago Lyric Opera); The Bartered Bride (Royal Opera House). 

Peter received the 1995 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for The Glass Blew In (Siobahn Davies) and Fearful Symmetries (Royal Ballet), the 2003 Olivier Lighting Award for The Bacchai (National Theatre), the Knight of Illumination Award in 2010 for Sucker Punch (Royal Court) and the Helpmann Award for Best Lighting for King Kong in 2013. He is currently directing/designing a concert version of The Ring Cycle for Opera North.

John Leonard

 John has designed sound for more than 100 productions at the Almeida Theatre.

For the Almeida: The Turn of the Screw; The Dark Earth and the Light Sky; Filumena; The Master Builder; Becky Shaw; Measure For Measure; Rope; Duet for One; Waste; The Homecoming; Big White Fog; Dying for It; Hedda Gabler; Macbeth; Brighton Rock; Whistling Psyche; Five Gold Rings; The Mercy Seat.

Other theatre includes: A Little Hotel on the Side (Donmar Warehouse); Joe Egg (Liverpool Playhouse); The Guinea Pig Club (York Theatre Royal); Bully Boy (Northampton / St. James Theatre); Rough Justice (UK Tour); Life for Beginners; Beasts (Theatre503); Birthday; Tribes (Royal Court); Detroit; Grief; Rocket to the Moon (National Theatre); Ladies In Lavender (Northampton Theatre Royal / Tour); Farewell to the Theatre (Hampstead Theatre); Here; The Lady from the Sea; The Snow Queen (Rose Theatre, Kingston); The Heresy of Love (RSC Swan Theatre); Big Maggie (Druid Theatre, Galway / Tour); The Last of the Duchess; Skane (Hampstead Theatre); Cool Hand Luke (West End); Basket Case (Northampton / UK Tour); Rattigan’s Nijinsky; The Deep Blue Sea (Chichester Festival Theatre); 5@50 (Manchester Royal Exchange); Ecstasy (Hampstead Theatre / West End); The Cripple Of Inishmaan (Druid Theatre / US Tour / New York).  

Cara Beckinsale

Theatre includes: Raving (Hampstead Theatre); Chariots of Fire (West End second cast); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Judas Kiss; The Last of the Duchess (Hampstead Theatre).

Television includesBig Bad World; Coma Girl; Stella; Vexed; A Touch of Frost; The Time of Your Life; The State Within; Beneath the Skin; Recovery.

Film includes: Heart of Lightness; Forget Me Not; Gin and Dry; Dyatlov Pass Incident; Creation; The Nutcracker; The Secret of Moonacre; Mr Bean’s Holiday; Good.

Andrew Edwards
Associate Designer

As Designer, theatre includes:
Quiz Show (Traverse Theatre); Danny’s Brain (Hampstead Theatre); Blue Remembered Hills; Playhouse Creatures; Fred’s Diner (Theatre on the Fly / Chichester Festival Theatre); Single Spies; Heroes; Educating Rita (Watermill Theatre); Backbeat (West End / Toronto / Los Angeles); Les Parents Terrible (Donmar Warehouse at Trafalgar Studios); The Importance of Being Earnest (Guildford Shakespeare Company); A Voyage Around My Father (Salisbury Playhouse); Measure for Measure (Theatre Royal Plymouth / UK tour); Jesus Christ Superstar ( Madrid / European tour); Shangri-La (European tour); No, It Was You (Arcola Theatre); The Increased Difficulty of Concentration (Gate Theatre); Broken Voices (Tristan Bates Theatre); The Smallest Thing (The Place); This Story of Yours (New End Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (Northampton Theatre); The Outsider (Etcetera Theatre).

Gaby Dellal
Assistant Director

Gaby is a writer and director for film and television. Her recent directing credits include the television drama Leaving with Helen McCrory and Callum Turner and the feature film Abandoned with Jeremy Piven and Elizabeth McGovern. Her debut short film Toy Boys featured Lesley Manville.

As director credits also include: On a Clear Day; Two Wheels Only.

Gaby has also worked as an actress including with the Actors Gang in Los Angeles, at the Royal Court with Max Stafford Clark and at the Gate Theatre with David Farr. 

Charlotte Barslund
Literal Translator

Charlotte translates Scandinavian plays and novels.

Her translation of August Strindberg’s The Pelican was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. She translated Ingmar Bergman’s version of Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen, which was performed at the Barbican. Her translation of the Norwegian crime novel Calling Out For You! by Karin Fossum was nominated for the 2005 Gold Dagger Award by the British Crime Writers’ Association. Her translation of I Curse the River of Time by Per Petterson was shortlisted for the Independent 2011 Foreign Fiction Award.

Other translated novels include: A Fairy Tale by Jonas T. Bengtsson; Black Sky, Black Sea by Izzet Celasin; Dinosaur Feather by Sissel-Jo Gazan; When the Dead Awaken by Steffen Jacobsen; Machine and The Brummstein by Peter Adolphsen; Death Sentence by Mikkel Birkegaard; the crime novels Pierced, Burned and Scarred by Thomas Enger, and The Son by Jo Nesbo.

Previews Thu 26 September - Wed 2 October
Press Night Thu 3 October (7pm)

Evening performances 7.30pm
Wednesday matinees 2.30pm on 16 October & 6 November
Saturday matinees 2.30pm from 5 October

Happy Mondays
30 September
Talkback Mon 28 October (post performance) with speech-to-text transcription
Supporters' Evening Mon 21 October


Caption Performance Captioned Mon 28 October, 7.30pm &
                  Wed 6 November, 2.30pm
Audio-described Sat 16 November, 2.30pm (Touch Tour at 12.45pm)

 The running time is approximately 90 minutes. There is no interval.

£8, £16, £24, £32
See seating plan for further details

£8, £16, £22, £26

Concessions* (Jobseekers Allowance, Full-Time Students, Over 60s)
Mon – Thu evenings £16 (normal price £22 / £24)
Wed & Sat matinees £16 (any seat in the house)

Deaf and disabled patrons*
All performances £16 (any seat in the house)

Islington First* Discounted tickets if you live or work in Islington
Thu 26 September - Sat 5 October £20 (best available)
More info

Under 30s*
Valid on all Mondays of the run £16 (best available)
More info

Young Friends of the Almeida
Happy Mondays £5
More info

Educational Group Bookings
Partner schools £12
Other UK state schools £20
Visit the Education section of our website to find out more about these and how to book

*All concessions are subject to availability and proof of eligibility must be presented when booking and collecting tickets.


Arts Council England ASP Group