Selvets keiser* (Emperor of the Self)

Selvets keiser* (Emperor of the Self) was a theatre production by Peer Gynt AS, performed outdoors by Lake Gålå, produced in 2013, and based on the play Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen.

Svein Sturla Hungnes directed it and Dennis Storhøi acted in the role of Peer.

This was the last year that Svein Sturla Hungnes was responsible for Peer Gynt at Gålå, and he directed two different versions of the play. In addition to Selvets keiser a traditional version of Peer Gynt was performed the same place.

Hungnes had been the director of Peer Gynt by Lake Gålå (Norwegian name: Gålåvatnet) for 25 years when he retired. For thirteen years he also acted in the title role.

*Not yet translated into the English. The title within parentheses is the Norwegian title's literal meaning.


(Objekt ID 41175)
Object type Production
Premiere July 31, 2013
Produced by The Peer Gynt Festival
Based on Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen
Audience Adults
Language Norwegian
Expressions Outdoors theatre, Drama, Theatre
Running period July 31, 2013  

At the webpage of Peer Gynt AS the following, among other things, was written about Selvets keiser* (Emperor of the Self):

"The audience will enter the arena in which rehearsals are already on for an international TV show in which Peer is the main guest.

In other words we meet Peer in the middle of his life, as a successful businessman. In familiar talkshow style we get to know his background as a poor boy from just this place in the valley of Gudbrandsdalen, who has, with his dreams and ambitions, reached his goal.

The performance will switch between its directed and spectacular acts in the genre of TV entertainment, and the true images forcing their way through Peer's own mind. There will be a reappearance of scenes and characters from the classical Peer Gynt by Lake Gålå. The last part will be Peer Gynt's journey into his interior and towards self-recognition.

Svein Sturla says that he sees this production as a delighted greeting to the numerous audience of Gålå, and a relay to new and rich experiences by Lake Gålå."


Peer Gynt AS,

Peer Gynt AS on Selvets keiser* (Emperor of the Self),

Name Role
Henrik Ibsen – Playwright
Svein Sturla Hungnes – Direction
Eirik Myhr – Music
Charlotte Frogner – Actor
Ingeborg Gillebo – Actor (Solveig)
Bartek Kaminski – Actor
Karoline Krüger – Actor (Anitra)
Britt Langlie – Actor (Mor Åse)
Hans Marius Hoff Mittet – Actor
Rune Reksten – Actor
Dennis Storhøi – Actor (Peer)
Performance dates
August 2, 2013 20:30 – Friluftsscena ved Gålåvatnet – Show
August 1, 2013 20:30 – Friluftsscena ved Gålåvatnet – Show
July 31, 2013 20:30 – Friluftsscena ved Gålåvatnet – Opening night
Press coverage

Lillian Bikset, Tvisyn på Gynt (literally: Double vision of Gynt), Dagbladet, August 4 2013:

"Selvets keiser* (Emperor of the Self) examines Peer Gynt from within. Peer Gynt describes him from the outside. (...) In Selvets keiser he enters the self-examination. Hungnes places the production someplace between the third and the fourth acts. Peer is at the height of his powers, rich, famous, from the outside successful. But when a TV show wants to make a special on him, set in the childhood village, he breaks down, in a maelstrom of memories, fantasies and foreshadowing, self-criticism and regret. This whirlpool dramaturgy shows that what he goes through is an inner journey. It is not mythical creatures, such as the Boyg of the Button-Moulder who drive Peer's self-acknowledgement. They are physical expressions of his own process, in his own mind."

The Dagbladet review discussed both productions of Peer Gynt by Lake Gålå 2013. For more about Peer Gynt, click here.

*Not yet translated into the English. The title within parentheses is the Norwegian title's literal meaning.