Crashtest Ibsen Volksvijand is a drastic adaptation of Ibsen's A Public Enemy. It is, after Nora, the second of a series of plays, written at request of director Sarah Moeremans, in which Ibsen's mental legacy is being betrayed, enriched and recycled.
In An Enemy of the People (1883), a doctor of a small health resort discovers that the water of the local spring is polluted. Yet the economic stakes are vast and after after a wearing battle with the Mayor (his brother) and the local press, he is chased by the residents as a public enemy.
Ibsen thematises in his piece the battle between idealism and pragmatism, that finally results in a catastrophy. In the Crashtest Ibsen version, the perspective is being moved to the dramatic consciousness of the characters themselves. The characters do not only suffer from an exaggerated dose of idealism or pragmatism, but are also ruined by their own desire for drama. Not convictions, but the addiction to drama makes human beings pessimists and catastrohpy-junkies.