Two Bergman screenplays are reimagined for the stage in a double bill about the chaotic lives of theatre people, exposing the fine line between art and reality, illness and normality.
After the Rehearsal: For Hendrik Vogler, a director obsessed by his work, rehearsals are like notes in his diary, performances his autobiography. Everything is subject to his control yet it soon becomes apparent that life cannot be kept at bay when ex lover Rachel and Anna, her daughter and his current star, breach his sanctum.
Persona: Celebrated actress Elisabeth Vogler falls mute and retreats into silence. It’s as though a short circuit has occurred, calling into question the roles she must play. She is cared for in hospital by nurse Alma who then accompanies her to an island summerhouse in an attempt to coax her into speaking again. Tension between the two builds.
Having recently directed illuminating versions of the classics at the Barbican, including Antigone and Kings of War, Ivo van Hove presents uncompromising, intimate human drama. Counting Bergman among his favourite filmmakers because he shows us ‘in all our inimitable complexity,’ he directs four actors from his Dutch ensemble on a set that transforms from the sparse to the scenically breathtaking.
After the Rehearsal/Persona is one of three Toneelgroep Amsterdam productions directed here by Ivo van Hove in 2017. See Roman Tragedies in March and Obsession in April