The Day Ends Early
'Bergman possesses rich expressive means which are sabotaged by his superficial skillfulness.'Ebbe Linde, Bonniers Litterära Magasin
About the production
Reviews responded positively to Bergman's psychological skill as a playwright and his 'unscrupulous' dramatic dialogue but felt that his plot structure revealed 'artistic helplessness', and a tendency to take facile shortcuts by moving the conflict to an abstract level.
This was Bergman's most active period as a playwright, four months before the opening of The Day Ends Early, Rachel and the Cinema Doorman premiered at Malmö City Theatre and the same autumn Unto My Fear opened in Gothenburg.
- The Ingmar Bergman Archives.
- Birgitta Steene, Ingmar Bergman: A Reference Guide, (Amsterdam University Press, 2005).
- Henrik Sjögren, Ingmar Bergman på teatern, (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1968).
The reviews were mainly discussing Bergman's ability as a director versus his inability as an author. Ebbe Linde in BLM for example wrote:
Once before I have voiced the opinion that the director Bergman is fatal for the author Bergman through this tendency to freely maximise all the effects without considering the dramatic structure of the play. Bergman possesses rich expressive means which are sabotaged by his superficial skillfulness.
One of the few defending the dramatist Bergman was Herbert Grevenius, who apreciated Bergman's 'elegant and secure' way of writing.
The Day Ends Early is termed a morality play in three acts. The play is set during midsummer's eve when the old woman Mrs Åström lets five people know that their days are numbered. Among them are Jenny, a business woman, Finger-Pella, a homosexual beauty operator and Peter, an actor who entertains the others with a puppet performance of Everyman. Mrs Åström's gloomy foreboding has a logical explanation; she is an hallucinating alcoholic who has escaped an institution. In the final scene her words though show to be true - the five are all dead and dwell in a great void.
- Ebba Ringdahl, Jenny Sjuberg
- Sven Miliander, Robert van Hijn
- Gertrud Fridh, Valborg
- Claes Thelander, Oleg
- Anders Ek, Peter
- Bertil Anderberg, Finger-Pella
- Herman Ahlsell, Oscar
- Maria Schildknecht, Mrs Åström
- Ann-Mari Ström, Fia-Charlotta
- Ulla Zetterberg, The model
- Ulla Malmström, Brita Welamsson
- Yngve Nordwall, Doctor Värn
- John Ekman, Revernd Broms
- Harry Ahlin, Wholesale dealer Fredell
- Elsa Baude, Miss Wortselius
- Folke Sundquist, Bachelor Jonsson
- Ingrid Borthen, Young lady
- Ingmar Bergman, Author
- Carl-Johan Ström, Designer