The Theater: Old Play in Manhattan, Jan. 7, 1952

The Wild Duck (by Henrik Ibsen) opened the annual winter season at Manhattan's City Center. It also opened the door to a musty attic. Under the dust and cobwebs that shroud Ibsen's classic, there may still lie something vital. But far from uncovering it, the present production treasures every cobweb and

merges less a Norwegian problem play than a mid-Victorian period piece.

In The Wild Duck, the archrealist Ibsen conceded—long before O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh—that men need illusions to survive. The Ekdal family are happy so long as Hialmar Ekdal is ignorant of his wife's...

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