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Ibsen's Peer Gynt in a modern context

Director Alexander Mørk-Eidem wants to reclaim the satire in Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt. That is why he has placed Peer in Fredrik Skavlan's talk-show. The result is the tale of the most egocentric man in Norway.



Peer Gynt has turned 50 – and he wants to take stock of his wild life. He wants to place all his cards on the table, in prime time.


Henrik Ibsen placed Peer in a typical Norwegian rural setting, but director Alexander Mørk-Eidem has chosen to let the liar and opportunist express himself in the heart of modern Norway: in studio with talk show host Fredrik Skavlan. Peer is confronted with himself and the life he has lead.


The award-winning director Alexander Mørk-Eidem has rewritten and modernized the text – but it is kept in verse. We are in Norway in 2014. In Skavlan's studio Peer recounts his tale, with a number of Norwegian celebrities present. It turns out that they are characters in the play. Eindride Eidsvold plays Peer, a charming bastard who deals in both weapons and people. And as in any Skavlan show, a musical artist appears. This is Solveig, played by singer-songwriter Amina Sewali. Throughout the show she performs newly written material and well-known evergreens.


Mørk-Eidem wants to reclame Ibsen's Peer Gynt, a character that was not intended as a celebration of Norway and the Norwegians. Do we cultivate those aspects of Peer Gynt that Ibsen denounced: cynicism, selfishness and the pursuit of one's own success? In 2014 both Peer Gynt and Norway experience a mid-life crisis. Peer turns 50 and Norway celebrates a the anniversary of the consitution. We have reached our goals: money, wealth and status. Now what? Does Skavlan have any surprise questions in store? Will Peer – and Norway – be caught with their pants down?


Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) used his own family as an inspiration for several characters in Peer Gynt. The piece was written while he lived in Italy. Ibsen wanted to confront a mentality he felt characterize the typical Norwegian.


In Sweden, Mørk-Eidem has been described as the greatest talent in stage direction in a long time. He was educated at The Norwegian National Academy of Theatre and has staged a number of productions in Scandinavia. He has done much work for The Stockholm City Theatre. Mørk-Eidem received The Hedda Award in 2002 for Not about Nightingales at The Norwegian Theatre.


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