Theatre, 1947

Magic

Gilbert Keith Chesterton's play has as its central theme the confrontation between a sceptical scientist and an illusionist, a theme which Bergman returned to in his 1958 film The Magician.

'Here Ingmar Bergman is the director. That means inventivity and a keen scent for the theatrical, but also a certain inclination for making things more complicated than they really are.'
Ebbe Linde, BLM

About the production

Between the staging of two of his own plays - The Day Ends Early and Unto My Fear - Bergman staged this less known one-act play by Chesterton. It was presented in a double programme along with Thornton Wilder's The Long Christmas Dinner, the debut direction by Josef Halfen.

The performance was considered an attack on modern financial entrepreneurs and scientists who lack moral stature and adhere to principles of pragmatic relativity. Chesterton gave voice to a demand for absolute faith, even to the point of absurdity.

 

Sources

  • 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).
  • Birgitta Steene, Ingmar Bergman: A Reference Guide, (Amstedam University Press, 2005).

Collaborators