Peer Gynt as puppet theatre at markets and town squares for the entertainment of the common man: Sacrilege or serious interpretation in the spirit of the poet?
Unlike almost every other European country, Norway has no tradition for street puppet theatre.
Denmark, Germany and Sweden have so called Kasperteater, England has its Punch, the Netherlands have Jan Klaassen, Germany has its Hanswurst etc.
Allegedly the tradition started in Greece more than 2000 years ago, and since then the form has kept both its function as a social critic, and its popular hero.
For everyone from 10 years.
Norway may not have a Punch, but Norway has Peer Gynt:
Ibsen’s hero is clearly related to those mentioned above: Rootless, weak-willed, self-centred, a compulsive liar, a seducer. Even the dramaturgy of PEER GYNT has many similarities with Kasper-theatre. Criticism of contemporary society is also well taken care of by Ibsen. The only problem is that Ibsen loves text too much. This makes the play unsuited for street theatre, and yet …
Our version coveys the content by using images, the proverbs and other significant text elements. The material is immersed when the puppets are – true to tradition – in direct dialogue with the puppeteers and with their audience.
Ibsen himself started his theatre career by creating puppetry plays at home on Venstøp farm, so we do feel we’re in good company.
Peer Gynt has so far been played around 200 times.
Periodically our PEER is deflated. But when requests pop in, he shows up, just as rude and Gyntsk as before. A funny, sharp and visual performance for two actors and a large gallery of puppets.
PEER has also toured in primary and secondary schools. Periodically, there has been feedback from the audience saying the show made them want to read the original script. And that’s not bad at all.
PEER has been a guest performance at various festivals in Norway, France, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium and Burkina Faso. Performed in Norwegian, English and in a mix of Norwegian-French and Norwegian-Dutch.
The show can be played both in- and outdoors.
Reviews have invariably been brilliant.
Offered in Norwegian, Scandinavian, Dutch, English or French.
- https://vimeo.com/363638605 (with puppeteers Bjørn Myrholdt, Jaap den Hertog)