2019 brings Hare's 19th play at the National Theatre, which premieres as part of a new partial season that's been criticised for the dominance of male writers and directors. With head of Chichester Festival Theatre Jonathan Kent directing and James McArdle starring, Peer Gynt may not redress any concerns over gender and racial bias at the Nation's theatre.
But it does reunite the trio after the success of 2016's epic Young Chekhov trilogy. This time, the focus is on a different Scandanavian Modernist, with a contemporary take on Henrik Ibsen's 1867 play Peer Gynt.
When it comes to Ibsen adaptations, Hare has an excellent track record. His adaptation of The Master Builder was cherished for its uncanny ability to lift the timeless messages out of Ibsen’s starchy, outdated Norwegian prose, something even modern Norwegians find challenging to understand. Hare now promises to drag one of Ibsen’s earliest works into the 21st century, thrusting it into a contemporary setting, rechristened as Peter Gynt.
The play is one of Ibsen's earliest and most famous. It charts the surreal adventures of a solitary young misfit who steals a bride from a wedding, then sets off on a wandering rite of passage across a bizarre world filled with shipwrecks, devils and trolls, for which Edvard Grieg wrote his famous ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’.
We don’t yet know how Hare plans to modernise this classic, but there are tantalising mentions of Gynt making a trip to ‘Florida’. Will Trump make an appearance as the chief troll, King of his Mar-a-Lago mountain? We can only guess at this stage.
The project sees Hare reunited with Jonathan Kent, who directed Hare’s ambitious Chekhov trilogy (Platonov, The Seagull and Ivanov) and James McArdle, who won many laurels for his superb portrayal of the feckless Platonov, will play the titular Peter. We look forward to seeing what McArdle will do with a part brimming with comedic potential.
|What||Peter Gynt, National Theatre|
|Where||National Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
27 Jun 19 – 08 Oct 19, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
|Price||£15 - £84|
|Website||Click here to book and for more information|