An Enemy of The People
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The first production of An Enemy of the People, Christiania, 1883

An Enemy of the People was published on 28 November 1882 and first performed in Christiania on 13 January 1883. Later on that same year there were productions in Bergen, Gothenburg, Stockholm, and Copenhagen, and subsequently in Berlin (1887), Bern (1888), Vienna (1890), and Paris (1893). An Enemy of the People was staged by the Moscow Art Theatre in 1900, and was the first Ibsen play to be staged by the Comédie Française — but not until 1921.

Sketch for the Moscow Art Theatre production, 1900

Donald Sinden as Stockmann in the 1975 Chichester Festival Theatre production

Photo: Reg Wilson

The London premiere was on 14 June 1893 at the Haymarket, with Herbert Beerbohm Tree as Stockmann, in a production that later went on tour to America; Tree revived the play at His Majesty's Theatre in 1905 and again in 1909. Later this century in London, Roger Livesey played Dr Stockmann at the Old Vic in 1939. In 1974, the Compagnia di Prosa visited the World Theatre Season at the Aldwych, with Tino Buazzelli as Dr Stockmann; and in 1988 the Young Vic staged Arthur Miller's 1950 adaptation, with Tom Wilkinson in the lead.

Outside London, the play is frequently staged — notably at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 1975, with Donald Sinden as Dr Stockmann. Arthur Miller's version was the basis of George Shafer's film of An Enemy of the People, starring Steve McQueen and Bibi Andersson; Satyajit Ray also filmed a version, Ganashatru, in 1989 set in a contemporary Bengalese town.