By a lake, between forests and steep mountains in the Gudbrandsdalen valley, you can experience Norways most famous folk tale in a spectacular outdoor theatre production. The dramatic poem "Peer Gynt" is staged all over the world, but it was here that Ibsen found his inspiration.
A theatre production in Peer Gynt's birthplace
During the Peer Gynt festival in the Gudbrandsdalen valley, Henrik Ibsens "Peer Gynt" is staged at Gålå in august every year. 19000 guests experienced the production in 2016.
Ibsen traveled through Norway in 1862, searching for folk tales to be inspired from. In the Gudbrandsdalen valley he found what he needed, in the mighty nature that surrounded him, and through the folk culture and the stories he was told. When he wrote the poem in 1867, he sent a letter to his publisher in Denmark:
"It may interest you to know that Peer Gynt is a person who actually lived in Gudbrandsdalen valley (...) " - Henrik Ibsen in a letter to his publisher, 8th August 1867.
This is Peer Gynts kingdom, where the stories of Peer Gynt originate. With the accompanying music inspired by Edvard Grieg’s original theatre music, the theatre production of Peer Gynt at Gålå offers a unique experience of Norwegian culture, music and nature, which both entertains and touches its spectators.
A world famous Norwegian drama
"Peer Gynt" is considered a literary masterpiece, both in Norway and abroad. The drama entertains and challenges its readers and theatre audiences in every corner of the world.
The poem invokes existential questions, and invites to thought and reflection. The character Peer Gynt is universal, and behind the fairytale creatures and entertaining show, there is a depiction of the ordinary person and the conflicts one can meet in life. This drama is therefore always relevant.
The story of a world citizen
Ibsen's dramatic poem reflect on the life and adventures of Peer Gynt. Twenty-year-old Peer is a wild young man, regarded as a dreamer, a drunk and an outlaw in his community. He selfishly shirks his responsibilities, and never considers what sacrifices others have to make to accommodate him.
Peer turns to a mythical world full of trolls and frightening creatures. Then he travels in the real world, where he encounters new cultures and new people. He returns to his local community after many years of travel. It has changed, and so has its people, but has Peer? Has he learnt anything from life?
For a worldwide audience
English and German introductions are held at the venue one hour before every show. Guests will be able to learn more about the connection between "Peer Gynt" and the Gudbrandsdalen valley, facts about the theatre play, and listen to a short summary.
Guests can also follow the drama through text and pictures from every scene with the summary booklet. You can download the summary booklet and read it in advance, or print it and bring it to the theatre. The booklet is also available for purchase at the venue. Be aware that it will get dark in the theatre venue when the sun goes down, and it can be difficult to read the summary booklet.
At the entrance of the theatre venue you can rent audio guides in English and German. The audio guide automatically plays a short summary before every scene, so that you can follow the story without taking your eyes off the stage. The audio guide is very easy to use, and the helpdesk staff will show you how it works.
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Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.
MapExplore the region
The fastest route from Lillehammer to Gålå is to follow E6 towards Trondheim, for about 72 kilometres, and at Harpefoss, turn left on Gålåvegen and follow Gålåvegen and the signs to Peer Gynt forestillingen. If you travel from the north through Trondheim, follow the E6 towards Oslo via Dombås to Vinstra and Lillehammer.
Parking at the Peer Gynt Festival venues cost NOK 50.
Public Transport Directions
The Peer Gynt Festival offers a festival bus to the theatre play "Peer Gynt" at Gålå. The bus departs from Lillehammer every day, stopping in Øyer (Hafjell) and Gausdal (Skei) before the theatre venue by lake Gålåvatnet. The bus travels over the Peer Gynt road, which is a mountain road through Peer Gynt’s kingdom, offering scenic sights on the way to the theatre play. Bus tickets cost NOK 250 pr person, and must be booked in advanced by sending an e-mail to thebus company, or by contacting your hotel. Visit www.peergynt.no for updated information about the bus route, and contact information to book your tickets. Many hotels also offer transport to the festival events.
There are daily express bus departures to the festival area from Oslo Bus Terminal, Trondheim Central Station and Bergen Bus Terminal, operated by Nor-Way Bussekspress or Nettbuss.
The closest railway station to the Peer Gynt festival is Vinstra, and the trains are operated by the Norwegian State Railways (NSB). From Oslo Central Station (Oslo S), Intercity trains to Lillehammer depart every hour. Most hotels can arrange to pick you up at the station.