Ibsen's penultimate play is a magnificently spacious work of art. It can be seen as a ruthless self-portrait, a Marxist attack on capitalism, a Freudian study in twisted passion. But, in Michael Grandage's fine revival, I was constantly reminded of the Wagnerian echoes of a play which exposes the madness of sacrificing love for power.
Although staged in an intimate space, Grandage's production has an epic feel. Snow, in Peter McKintosh's design, falls constantly outside the bleak Borkman drawing room reminding us that Munch saw the play as "the mightiest winter landscape in Scandinavian art".
Borkman, the would-be giant of capitalism who was imprisoned for embezzlement, paces his spartan room like "a sick wolf in a cage". And downstairs Borkman's wife Gunhild and her twin sister Ella engage in a titanic battle for possession of the former's son.
But Grandage skilfully balances operatic intensity with savage irony. You see this in the great second act where Ian McDiarmid brings out the self-delusion of the incarcerated Borkman. Dreaming of a return to financial power, McDiarmid checks his appearance in a vanity mirror and assumes a Napoleonic pose the second he hears a knock at the door. Later, when his wife claims that his crime was not only an offence against himself, McDiarmid crushingly claims "you come under what I mean by myself". Richardson and Scofield may have imbued the last act with more wild poetry but McDiarmid captures the self-obsession of a man drunk on power.
This is Wagner's Wotan in a frock coat. And Penelope Wilton's Ella Rentheim brilliantly reminds us that she has paid the price for Borkman's elevation of wealth above the human heart. Her desolation when Borkman informs her that "one woman can be replaced by another" is unforgettable. Wilton also implies that Ella has turned her unwanted passion onto Borkman's son whose every move she devours. And the notion of women as the ultimate victims of male power-fantasies is confirmed by Deborah Findlay who turns Gunhild into a memorably embittered solitary.
Grandage's production risks lapsing into romantic melodrama, but it is always pulled back by the sharpness of its observation and the quality of its acting: not least from David Burke as Borkman's old clerk with his own mad dream of being a tragic playwright and from Rafe Spall as Borkman's son who is turned into an emotional shuttlecock. This is an excellent revival that reminds us Ibsen and Wagner were brothers under the skin in charting the insanity of power.
· Until April 14. Box office: 0870 060 6624