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BWW Review: CAMERA, THE INGRID BERGMAN MUSICAL at Kulturhuset Spira

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Camera is the Swedish musical about the iconic Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman during her "Italian years"

BWW Review: CAMERA, THE INGRID BERGMAN MUSICAL at Kulturhuset Spira

The musical Camera is written by Jan-Erik Sääf (music and lyrics) and Staffan Aspegren (script, dialogue and direction). It had its world premiere at Östgötateatern 2018.

Camera is about the Italian years 1948 -1956 in Ingrid Bergman's life. The time when she chose to leave her successful career in Hollywood to go to Italy and shoot the film Stromboli with director Roberto Rossellini, whose films with Anna Magnani she admired a lot. During the filming, a strong passion arises between Robert and Ingrid, and leaves her husband and daughter Pia for a life with Rossellini. This is a huge scandal and not appreciated by Hollywood and her fan especially as Rossellini is Italian and Italy was on the enemy side in World War II. But Ingrid follows her heart, as well as searches for her true self. In the musical, the image of a successful woman emerges carrying the wounds of losing both her parents when she was little. Already as a child, she learned that she was most appreciated through the camera lens because her father being a photographer, it also characterized her.

My impression is that the musical mainly focuses on the career woman Ingrid and her strive for a better life. Åsa Fång who plays Ingrid captures this very well and has a strong empathy in her voice when she sings Din Egen Röst/Your Own Voice och Kamera/Camera among other songs. Glenn Edell is perfect as the confident and arrogant Roberto Rossellini. But the most passionate role is Anna Magnani played by Vero Veljovic. When she realizes that Roberto chooses Ingrid instead of her for their upcoming film project, there is like a volcanic eruption of emotions in Vera Veljovic's powerful voice as she sings Vulcano. She really shows that she is not a woman who finds herself being pushed aside but takes on her own film project. A magnificent Italian diva! Kalle Malmberg is good as Ingrid's husband Aron Petter Lindström as well as Stefan Clarins as the machinist Cameron who is Ingrid right hand and expected to work around the clock.

It is a good musical performed by some really good musical artists and a good ensemble, which really comes out in, for example, "So Scandalous". The music is played subergly by Jönköping's Sinfonietta. It is a musical that pleases the eyes as the clothes by Camilla Thulin is beautiful and an homage to the era and the scenography by Bengt Fröderberg with the red cinema chairs In Focus and Fredrik Egerstrand's video design / image technology gives an extra dimension to each specific scenes. The music is consistently good, a mixture of powerful songs where the artists' voices are fully utilized and other ensemble songs that are so captivating that you sit and nod along to the beat.

As I said, I think this is a good musical, but then there is a little "but" that gnaws at me. With this focus on career, passion and deeper emotions are left behind. Would love to see a little more of how the love between Ingrid and Roberto blossoms as it is one of film history's great love stories. Now it does not strike sparks between Ingrid and Robert for their love story is something that is only ascertained in passing. Even the emotional storm that should have existed within Ingrid when she has to opt out of her daughter and later also the children she has with Roberto could have been given a little more space. A career woman may seem cool and ice queen-like on the outside, but on the inside there is a lot of emotion, bad conscience, etc. and it would have been interesting to highlight them as well. The lack of this means that I personally consider the roles more than I become emotionally involved in them. On the other hand, I was very happy to see a musical live again and feel the energy that radiates from everyone on stage. The joy of playing is really contagious. A feeling that I will carry with me now as we enter the gray dark time. A time when we so much need you on stage!

Camera is played until November 21 and with restrictions that exist with 50 people in the audience, it is high time to get tickets if you have not already done so. This all-Swedish musical is worth seeing. But with the latest news from the government they might be able to increase the number of spectators for each performance as of the 15th of October. If that is the case, and with the social distance of 1 meter, they will be able to increase from 50 to around 100 each performance.

Tickets can be purchased at:

https://secure.tickster.com/sv/cmc4khc20klyvc9/selectevent


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