Peer Gynt

Peer Gynt was a theatre production by The Norwegian Theatre, produced in 1948, and based on the play by Henrik Ibsen. The production was the first The Norwegian Theatre had done of Peer Gynt, and it was the first time ever that Ibsen's text was performed in New Norwegian. Henrik Rytter had translated the text, and Harald Sæverud had composed new music especially for the performance.The production was staged at the facilities the theatre used at the time, in Stortingsgaten.

Hans Jacob Nilsen directed it.

Hans Jacob Nilsen and Asbjørn Toms alternated in the title role.

The production went on tour in Germany and the Netherlands, and it also visited Stockholm and Gothenburg.

It was also performed during the international theatre congress of 1951.


(Objekt ID 38041)
Object type Production
Premiere March 2, 1948
Produced by The Norwegian Theatre
Based on Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen
Audience Adults
Number of events 125
Language Norwegian Nynorsk
Expressions Theatre, Drama
Running period March 2, 1948  

At the webpage of The Norwegian Theatre the following, among other things, is written about Peer Gynt from 1948:

"The production of Peer Gynt in 1948 has remained a milestone, in the history of The Norwegian Theatre and in Norwegian theatre in general. Until then Peer Gynt had been performed as a National-Romantic hero epic at Norwegian stages.

Head of the theatre, director and actor Hans Jacob Nilsen had decided to de-romanticise the play."

In Norsk Biografisk Leksikon the following, among other things, is written about Peer Gynt by The Norwegian Theatre (1948):

"For this production Arne Walentin used image projections for the first time - a technique he later developed with great artistry. For Peer Gynt he took use of the full rounded horizon for the projections, with easily movable decorations on the revolving stage in front, and the 32 changes took place in view of the audience."


Repertoire at The Norwegian Theatre 1913-2014. Transferred to Sceneweb 08.09.2015.

The Norwegian Theatre,, 03.01.2014,

The Norwegian Theatre's repertoire list, donated by The Norwegian Theatre, 08.09.2015

Jenssen, Hugo Lauritz: Sossen. Bohemdronningen, page 128, published by the publishing house Kagge Forlag, 2015

Næss, Trine. (2009, Februrary 13). Arne Walentin. From Norsk biografisk leksikon. Found January 3 2014 at

The National Library of Norway, transferred to Sceneweb 01.03.2017.

Press coverage

Hans Heiberg, date unknown, VG [Oslo]:
"So now it has happened. Our national cultural treasure and the people's unrivalled favourite drama Peer Gynt has been manhandled by the barbarians, translated into an uneducated boorish lingo, Grieg's wonderful music is silenced, our invaluable values for ever stained. [...] we have seen a major dramatic work illuminated anew - and the scaredy-cat hens can just go on with their cackling [...] (Sossen was) daredevil, naughty and nice as Anitra, of a whole other calibre than any former Anitra."