Ian McKellen Stage
Griffith Jones (Vigeland), Ivan Beavis (Rummell), Ian McKellen (Karsten Bernick), and Leon Tanner (Sandstad)
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PILLARS OF THE COMMUNITY

Written by Henrik Ibsen
Directed by John Barton
Ian McKellen in the role of Karsten Bernick
Aldwych Theatre, London
27 July 1977 - 10 December 1977
Society of West End Theatres (SWET) - Best Actor
Comments and Reviews
"The virtue of this bitingly intelligent production is that it brings out all Ibsen's moral elusiveness: he sees the rotteness of the system but he also realises that, in a mercantile society, jobs will be lost if there is a crisis of public confidence. And this all emerges through Ian McKellen's brilliant performance as Bernick. Ramrod-backed, wavy-haired, perpetually busy, he is at first the model entrepeneur. Gradually he gives way to fluster and hysteria (notice the way the hands depend heavily from the wrist) as his life-lies are exposed. But his final speech, in which he atones by creating a public company, hits just the right note of arrogant modesty exemplified by the conspiratorial look he gives the free-thinking Lona Hessel when he dares to say, 'Let him that is without sin cast the first stone.' " Michael Billington, The Guardian