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after the rehearsal / persona

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duration 2:50, incl. 1 pauze
premiere 06 Dec 2012

Van Hove has built a long and intense relationship with Bergman’s oeuvre as a director, which in the past resulted in the productions Scenes from a Marriage (2005) and Cries and Whispers (2009). With the diptych After the Rehearsal / Persona he continues his study of the Swedish film and theatre maker. 

Both scripts walk the thin line between imagination and reality, illness and normality. Both explore the meaning of art in our lives and in society. As always, Ingmar Bergman does this with great personal intensity and humanity. Uncompromising and compassionate.

In After the Rehearsal director Hendrik Vogler organises his life within the confines of the rehearsal space. His life is completely enveloped by his work. The rehearsals are like notes in his personal diary, and the performances form his autobiography. Everything is submitted to his imagination and control. Yet it becomes apparent that life and reality cannot be kept at bay after all. Love, birth, decay and death seep into his bastion in the shape of Anna and Rachel, who appeal to him as an artist and a human being.

In Persona an actress stops playing. In her mind a short circuit occurs between the roles she plays in real life, and the ones she plays on stage. The role of motherhood poses her with insurmountable problems and destroys her self-image. Again, life (pregnancy and birth) tears someone away from the controlled role play of the theatre. Her struggle with other people’s expectations and the deep crisis that ensues also force the doctor and nurse who take care of her out of the safe reaches of their conventional lives.

'Passion is messy, and passion is what we were witnessing on Thursday night at the 23rd Street Armory, both in the audience — where theatergoers sat for nearly three hours, wielding hand-held fans against the roasting heat — and onstage, where the superb actors of Ivo van Hove’s Toneelgroep Amsterdam banished every last remnant of Ingmar Bergman’s perpetual chill from a pair of plays about art, delusion and the ravages of devotion.' - The New York Times

‘The actors work miracles here’ - De Morgen *****

‘A harrowing, lifelike performance’ - de Volkskrant *****

'une mise en scène splendide' - Télérama

Ivo van Hove about After the rehearsal / Persona

‘Two short pieces about the meaning of theatre and art in our lives and our society. As is fitting for great master Ingrid Bergman, he doesn’t adopt a moralising approach, but invests his work with much attention to and insights into mankind in all its matchless complexity. Touching but harsh at the same time. The first case is about someone who lives wholly for and inside art, while the second case is about someone who brings its importance up for discussion.

It is precisely in these times, in which we are continually debating the importance of art in society, and find ourselves having to defend this importance more and more often, that I find that highly interesting both personally and as a theatre maker.’

The production was realised in collaboration with Auteursbureau ALMO bvba commissioned by Josef Weinberger Ltd, London and the Ingmar Bergman Foundation.



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