Theatre Columbus loves a story, so it's not surprising that for their latest project, Gynty, they turn to one of the most famous storytellers in drama, Ibsen's Peer Gynt. At the centre of his own picaresque tale, Peer is a dreamy, playful liar who seduces just about everyone who listens to his yarns.
Not content to rely on Frank McGuinness's idiomatic translation alone, the Columbians set the piece as a 40s-style radio play, with the personalities of the five radio actors adding extra spice to Ibsen's cast of some 50 characters.
"I love the play because it tracks a life journey," says actor Martha Ross, "from the wild abandon of youth through the murky angst of the middle years to the bitterness of old age. And it finally asks that central question, "Have I lived my life well?'"
Look for a mix of Theatre Columbus's clown-inspired antics and a serious undercurrent. As Ross notes, "It's a piece that suits our sense of weighty playfulness."
Gynty opens Wednesday (March 13).