I'd often heard that Leo McKern had made his theatrical bones in Ibsen--Peer Gynt, of which it has been reported that "[i]n his own estimation the greatest event of his theatrical life was playing Peer Gynt at the Old Vic in 1962-63."
Well, I have never seen any record of that performance, though I have seen many of McKern's other performances--his superb turn in Ryan's Daughter, in which he plays the quintessential Robert Bolt figure, the traitor with a conscience, or his angry, dying engineer in Travelling North, and of course his ticket to immortality, Rumpole of the Bailey, which I have loved for 30 years now.
But not Ibsen. Missed that boat, alas.
Well, not completely, it turns out, thanks to BBC 2's Theatre Night. Not Peer Gynt--but The Master Builder from 1988, co-starring another favorite of mine, Miranda Richardson.
So here it is, Leo McKern interpreting the work of the playwright whose work he loved: