Peter Gynt, National Theatre - ★★★★★ - Until October 8, 2019


David Hare's adaptation of Ibsen's Peer Gynt is a wonderful thing to behold. The dark profundity of the original allegory is not lost but there is a delightful ironic humour and a generous dollop of satire that make a long night in the theatre always entertaining. Peter Gynt's odyssey from Scottish fantasist, to Floridian tycoon and to African prophet is hilarious at the same time as it explodes false values and hypocritical pieties. The questions posed in this pilgrim's progress are nothing less than the very purpose of life and the meaning that is ascribed to death. James McArdle's performance as Peter Gynt is quite extraordinary, and he brings to life what can be a rather two dimensional character. This is a masterful performance and McArdle is well supported by a multi-talented cast who are all pitch perfect. The production values, as always at the National Theatre, are amazing. Strong direction from Jonathan Kent, spectacular set design from Richard Hudson and brilliant lighting design from Mark Henderson all contribute to an incomparable presentation of the the play. While maintaining the spirit of Ibsen's original work, the quest for the self has never been more entertaining and more originally presented. This is a journey every theatre lover should take.

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until October 8, 2019
Various show times available. See website below.
Olivier Theatre, National Theatre
Nearest tube: Waterloo
https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/peter-gynt

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