Peer Gynt

Can you tell me…
Where have I been my whole life?

You’ve been here all along; in my song,
and in my head
and in my heart.



  • Writer
  • Director
  • Designer
  • Lighting Designer
  • Sound Designers
  • Make-Up & Effects
  • Producer
  • Premiere
  • Performers

Text about Peer Gynt

Peer Gynt is a careening, epic tale. As a young man Peer tells tall tales to impress his mother, boasting about his hunting and fighting prowess. An unwelcome guest at the local wedding, Peer meets Solveig, a pious young woman, before running away with the bride Ingrid. Chased into exile, dissatisfied with Ingrid in comparison with Solveig, Peer then tumbles into a fantastical world in which he is forcibly seduced by three young women who are dissatisfied with their husbands and descends into the Troll Kingdom where the Troll King tries to force a marriage between his daughter and Peer, threatening to cut Peer's eyeball if he doesn't agree. The Great Boyg is encountered, whose lines "Who are you? - I am myself" and "Go the long way around" form the crux of the philosophical dilemma in the play. Peer's demise at the hands of the Troll King is diverted by the ringing of church bells and although they return him to the "real" world, his adventures become ever more fantastical. After the death of his mother he travels the world, becoming a billionaire arms dealer, a slave trader and a prophet. Another erotic encounter with the desert princess Anitra sees him lose everything in a single swoop. He  returns home, an old man, haunted by a child he never had and obsessed with unraveling the mystery of Self. On return to his village, he goes unrecognised by his childhood friends who instead tell stories of the legend of Peer. Waiting for him, possibly after death as she has for her whole life, is Solveig.

"Kaingang folklore abounds in accounts of festivals that turn into massacres, and the Kaingang expression "We shall make beer for him" has decidedly sinister connotations."

Rene Girard, Violence and the Sacred

Press and Reviews

"It unravels its threads of inquiry with slow thoroughness of a Hans van den Broeck...and yet the complex performance requires no long-winded explanations before it can be fully felt. Its intellectual rigour is solid enough to allow itself wild playfulness. It is gorgeous, masterful theatre."

Jana Perkovic, Guerilla Semiotics

"Schlusser's re-blending of Peer Gynt is mischievous, beguiling and ultimately haunting, demonstrating that an act of creation is always simultaneously an act of destruction."

Alison Croggon, Theatrenotes

  • Original director's notes, Daniel Schlusser, as pdf

Images of Peer Gynt by Jeff Busby

Currently no video for this production.