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BWW Review: CAMERA - THE INGRID BERGMAN MUSICAL at Östgötateatern, Linköping

BWW Review: CAMERA - THE INGRID BERGMAN MUSICAL at Östgötateatern, Linköping

Ingrid Bergman is the most successful Swedish actress ever and during her lifetime she won 3 Academy awards. Which is a very rare achievement for any actor or actress. She was a very strong woman and took control over her career in a way which was not common at that time. The story of her life has inspired Staffan Aspegren and Jan-Erik Sääf to write a musical about a part of her life. The world premier of the musical was the 9th of February at Östgötateatern in Linköping, Sweden.

The first time I came in contact with the musical was when I saw a reading of it the 4th of June 2016 at the Culturhouse Spira in Jönköping, so I was really exicted to see musical come to live on stage.

We enter into Ingrid Bergman's life when she has lived for a while in Hollywood with her husband Aron Petter Lindström and her daughter Pia. Everything she has done in Hollywood has become a success and she has won an Academy award for best female actress in Gas Light. Ingrid Bergman views the final scenes of her latest movie Jeanne D'arc with Cameron. By the Americans, she is considered American, but she herself has a longing for the European life. Together with her husband, she watches the Italian film, Rome - open city, by Roberto Rossellini and Anna Magnami in the lead. She becomes totally fascinated by the film and writes to Rossellini that she wants to work with him. Later Ingrid and Rossellini make the film Stromboli together and they have a passionate love story. Ingrid divorces and have three children with Rossellini. The Americans have difficulty to forive her "betrayal". In parallel, we'll follow Anna Magnami who would have made that movie with Rossellini but, once she has been ratified by Rossellini, makes her own movie on the neighboring Volcano. The years go and eventually Ingrid divorces Rossellini and returns to Hollywood to make Anastasia.

Ingrid Bergman is played by Karin Oscarsson, who makes a good interpretation of Ingrid. She is Nordic cool, unlike Italian magnificent Anna Magnami, played by Maria Möller. Maria also played Anna in the reading I saw. She is really perfect for that role. She has a the temper and passion for the role and the song Volcano is one of the highlights in the musical. Ingrid's man, Aron Petter, is played by Patrik Martinsson, who is very good as the, faithfully husband standing in Ingrid's shadow and taking care of the home and their daughter Pia. Niklas Risbeck plays Roberto Rossellini with great passion too. Patrik and Niklas sings a great duet where they both explains their love for Ingrid. They all have very good singing voices and impress in their songs. It's a little extra fun to see Patrik on stage in Linköping as it was in Linköping I heard him sing for the first time years ago. At the early stages of his career. Even then, I thought he had a great voice and it just developed for the better. The song about how Ingrid was born in a camera and wants to die in a camera is sung beautifully by Karin.

The ensemble is very good and I recognize two of them, Hani Arrabi and Johan Hwatz from the reading.

Camilla Thulin has created the costums and main part of them are very beautiful, especially Anna Magnamis. How ever some coult have been a bit more glamorous, especially the ones from the Academy award show number which unfortunately gave a pyjama impression. The dress, Ingrid wears at Strombil could have had a better fit. How ever it is impressive to see that they have recreated the pattern to look like the actual dress Ingrid Bergman wore on Stromboli back in time.

The film productions by Fredik Egerstrand, the scenography by Bengt Fröderberg together with the light design by Håkan Jansson created several powerful scenes. Much of the background was movies projected on a film screen and sometimes it went from at still picture to Moving Pictures like when the trees began to blow in the wind, smoke rising from the volcanoes and so on.

I enjoyed the choreography by Karl Dyall.

The musical is about 3 hours long which, unfortunately, felt a bit too long at some parts. For example, the scene where we follow the letter sent by Ingrid to Rossellini from the United States, across the Atlantic and throughout Europe. There are several good effects and dancing in that song, but as a whole it felt a bit too extensive.

The music and lyrics by Jan-Erik Säaf are good and move to story forward as it should in a musical.

It is really great to see a newly written musical and that the result is so good. A well-played musical and it is definitely worth going to Linköping or Norrköping to see if you do not live there.

The musical is scheduled to play in Linköping till 7th of April and then it will be moved to Norrköping where the final performance is scheduled till the 2nd of June.

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From This Author Annette Stolt