The League of Youth is one of Ibsen’s lesser-known plays, but it has been given a new lease of life by theatre company Riot Act at the Theatre N16 in Balham. Originally set in the nineteenth century, it has been updated by writer Ashley Pearson to 21st-century London. Sten Stensgard, newly arrived from the firm’s Dublin branch, turns up at the Christmas party and fires up his colleagues with talk of democratic office politics and a new “League of Youth”, which serve mainly to increase his own power. The result causes chaos in the company, from the lowly office workers to the former and current CEOs.
A talented cast, including Niall Bishop as the cunning Stensgard, bring the piece to life, and it is fast-paced, topical and funny. It is an intelligent updating of a play by one of the greatest dramatists, and definitely worth seeing.