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Critics call Peer Gynt:



"one of the great dramas"

Richard Engling as Old Peer Gynt
Richard Engling as Old Peer Gynt.
Photo by John Sisson

"Bryson Engelen and Richard Engling...deliver marathon performances"

“The folk legend of the Trickster is found in virtually every corner of Western culture. His Norwegian name is Peer Gynt, his progress inspiring, among other artists, composer Edvard Grieg and playwright Henrik Ibsen, during the latter’s early forays into epic romanticism…Bryson Engelen and Richard Engling—playing, respectively, the young and old Gynt—deliver marathon performances, augmented by a 16-member chorus doubling and tripling in a roster of auxiliary roles…” –Mary Shen Barnidge, Windy City Times


"Engling's (Peer Gynt is) compelling. Here's a man who I believe is clever and selfish enough to achieve great wealth, usually at the expense of others. There is an Ebenezer Scrooge-quality to his look and manner that resonates with the character, especially when he seeks repentance as death draws near. The themes of Polarity's production of Peer Gynt will resonate with a modern audience, thanks in part to the efforts of Occupy Wall Street. The play highlights the fact that the rich sacrifice their humanity to pursue wealth for the sake of wealth, a problem that was prevalent even in Ibsen's day." –Chicago Theatre Beat


"...this cautionary folk epic sprawls much more cinematically and exuberantly than Ibsen's later, darker works. Treating it like an exuberant but ethical cartoon, director Jeremy Wechsler gives it a folk-American setting....Particularly effective are musicians Teddy Stuebi, Paul Gilvary and Christopher Gagnon...." –Chicago Stage Style

"one of the great dramas"

"Very accessible English, very direct. I think it's a rather vigorous translation...Peer Gynt is one of the great dramas of theatre literature. Go and listen..."
Jonathan Abarbanel, Dueling Critics, WBEZ

"a fine job"

"Richard Engling, Artistic Director, played Peer Gynt. He did a fine job of gettting the audience involved in the presentation. The play does wonders in education and entertainment."Village View Newspapers

"fantastically clever...certainly worth seeing"

"no lack of great moments: the traveling motif that begins the post-intermission is fantastically clever; the puppetry of the troll child born out of wedlock is unnerving, and the human puppet the trolls make dance desperately upsetting – and excellently done. There are touching moments between both Peer and his mother and Peer and Solveig, both as a young couple and a pair whose time is coming to a close...Polarity's Peer Gynt is certainly worth seeing."Chicago Critic

"really had me dazzled"

"The set by Heath Hays, in a large black box space, has an overhead boardwalk that spans across the space. It’s beautiful when the lights hit the walk and dramatic slats of light run across the faces of characters below. The production flaunts dozens of first-rate period costumes by Rachel Lambert for over fifty characters, including an impressive puppet troll toddler (designed by Angela M. Campos).... That puppet troll toddler really had me dazzled." –Chicago Theatre Review

Polarity Ensemble Theatre

Polarity Ensemble Theatre is a member of the League of Chicago Theatres.

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