" In Pastoral Symphony the author discreetly handles some delicate themes in the political and national life of modern Iceland. He moves the action fifteen or twenty years back in time in order to give himself greater latitude. The transposition in time also enables him to appeal more effectively to the sense of humour of the audience. Pastoral Symphony is a skilfully constructed picture of national life which throws light on political events and issues of the present day while putting its main emphasis on the human and comic aspects.
Ragnar Arnalds has not only scored a major hit with Icelandic audiences with this play. In the process he has managed to create a work which is signally well suited to almost any theatre or dramatic group. It can be staged with little expense. The size of the cast is not beyond the resources of most theatres. The roles are varied and offer parts for actors and actresses of various ages. Some of the leading parts may be regarded as especially attractive and rewarding. At all event, such has been the experience of the Reykjavķk Theatre in staging the play
"Gamanleikur sem gerist ķ dreifbżli. Örlygur og žżskęttuš kona hans eru komin heim frį Žżskalandi eftir aš hafa bśiš žar ķ nokkur įr og rifja upp žį atburši sem leiddu til žess aš žau yfirgįfu sveitina. Veriš er aš semja um byggingu orkuvers og stķflu ofan viš dalinn og hart er deilt ķ hreppnum um afleišingar žess fyrir byggš og bś. Sérhver persóna leiksins hefur sķna skošun į deilumįlum. Ķ žessum gamanleik er fléttaš saman skoplegum sögum um prest sem bruggar og skapmikla dóttur hans, tónelskan sżslumann sem undirbżr sinfónķska tónleika, glaumgosa ķ bęndastétt, konu hans og grašfola. Žar kemur įstin mjög viš sögu um leiš og fjallaš er um żmis vandamįl ķ dreifbżli nśtķmans. (Śr bęklingnum Theatre in Iceland 1986-1988.)
"A comedy set in rural Iceland. Returning home after living in Germany for several years, Örlygur and his German wife recollect events leading to their departure. The background to the events is the building of a power plant with reservoirs, and the strife within the county concerning the sale of land and closure of farms. Each character in the play takes a different stand on the issue. A humorous tale of a bootlegging vicar and his temperamental daughter, a musical sheriff planning a symphony concert, a playboy farmer, his wife and his stallion, this comedy also has a love story as part of the complications and it touches upon many issues facing a modern rural community." (Theatre in Iceland 1988-1992.)