Be thyself, and thy self, alone…
Peer Gynt, is a tour-de-force performance piece adapted for two actors by director Erika Batdorf with the company. Playing in every corner of Toronto’s historic Church of the Holy Trinity, actors Susan Coyne (Soulpepper Founding Member and Gemini-winning performer and creator of Slings and Arrows) and Matthew Romantini bring Henrik Ibsen’s epic poem to life.
The adaptation, which casts Coyne as Peer Gynt and Romantini as everyone (and everything) else, is an examination of Self: selfishness, selflessness, and integrity. It explores ideas of accountability, notoriety, and unconditional love through various elements of classical theatre, story theatre, dance, live music, and shadow puppetry. This colossal tale has been streamlined for two virtuosic performances, remaining a magical, 100-minute tribute to Ibsen’s original. The designers make use of all physical, musical and illuminant aspects of The Church of the Holy Trinity to create a Peer Gynt that is fully integrated with its venue. Audiences follow the actors through the space before settling down for the moving climax.
Cast & Crew
Adapted by Erika Batdorf with the company
Directed by Erika Batdorf
Produced by Christine Horne
Cast: Susan Coyne, Matthew Romantini
Set and Costume Design: Lindsay Anne Black
Sound Design and Composition: Richard Feren
Lighting Design: Jason Hand
Stage Management: Scott Seetoo
Music Director: Tom Kerr
At The Church of The Holy Trinity
"Romantini, whose background is in dance, is as likely to appear beneath our feet as before our eyes, and his multiple performance — switching roles and sexes by the mere donning or doffing of a shawl — is unfussily spectacular; he can raise or chill the temperature without raising his voice."
- Robert Cushman, National Post
Read the full review here