China Theater Festival to open with French play 'A Bergman Affair' in Shanghai

Xu Wei
Shanghai will host a production of "A Bergman Affair," a French play based on the novel "Private Confessions" by acclaimed Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman.
Xu Wei
China Theater Festival to open with French play 'A Bergman Affair' in Shanghai

The French play "A Bergman Affair" will have its Asian premiere in Shanghai on September 8.

The French drama "A Bergman Affair" will raise the curtain on the 2023 Great Theater of China Theater Festival, which will run from September to December.

A highlight of the 11 domestic and foreign stage productions, "A Bergman Affair" by the Wild Donkeys company will be presented at the Great Theater of China from September 8 to 10.

Based on celebrated Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman's novel "Private Confessions," the play incorporates elements of drama, dance, puppetry, and multimedia to depict the fragility and resilience of human nature.

Anna, a 40-something mother of three, is forced to confront her inner conflict and anxiety after being trapped in complicated relationships with her godfather, husband, and lover. The stage will vividly depict the woman's desires, fears, and dilemmas.

Serge Nicola, the drama's director, stated that he had always wanted to find a text that could carry the theatrical form of "body manipulation," and at the suggestion of his wife Olivia (the actress who plays Anna in the drama), he chose Bergman's work as the adaptation prototype.

China Theater Festival to open with French play 'A Bergman Affair' in Shanghai

The drama revolves around a woman in her 40s who must confront her anxiety and inner struggles.

China Theater Festival to open with French play 'A Bergman Affair' in Shanghai

Serge Nicola, director of the play "A Bergman Affair"

The cinematic sense between the lines of this novel, as well as the sense of freedom that differs from a script, provided Nicola with infinite inspiration and space for his creation. It allowed him to include the elements he wanted to use on stage.

Nicola employs simple stage design and sets. There is only one table covered with a tablecloth, implying the drama's backdrop – a home and the coldness between family members.

He also adapted the novel's original lines into everyday conversation, giving actors more room for emotional expression.

Individual stories reflect the multifaceted nature of human emotions, allowing the audience to consider whether people can truly control their own destinies in the emotional fog and what a healthy intimate relationship looks like.

The drama's creators will interact with Fudan University students on September 5.



(Dr Wang Zhao, a scholar and collaborator of the play, has contributed to the story.)

China Theater Festival to open with French play 'A Bergman Affair' in Shanghai

A scene from the play.

China Theater Festival to open with French play 'A Bergman Affair' in Shanghai

Swedish film and theater director Ingmar Bergman

China Theater Festival to open with French play 'A Bergman Affair' in Shanghai

The drama is based on "Private Confessions," a novel by famous Swedish film and theater director Ingmar Bergman.

Performance info:

Date: September 8-10

Venue: Great Theater of China

Address: 704 Niuzhuang Rd

牛庄路704号

Tel: 6377-8820

For more information about the festival, follow the WeChat account of the Great Theater of China (中国大戏院).

Special Reports

Top