Theatre, 1953

Six Characters in Search of an Author

One year and one week after The Crown Bride, Bergman is back at Malmö City Theatre, this time with Luigi Pirandello's intricate meta-theatrical play.

About the production

Pirandello's drama about a play rehearsal, which is interrupted by six characters with their lives portrayed, is set in the 1920s. Bergman antedated the rehearsed play to the turn of the last century; the reason being that the old-fashioned costumes helped the audience distinguish between the actors in rehearsal and the six interrupting characters dressed in modern clothing.

Bergman's production of Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author was his major success during his six-year term at Malmö City Theatre. The audience reportedly followed the performance in breathless silence. Reviewers singled out two aspects in particular: the director's faithful reading of Pirandello's text and the high quality of acting 'not found on any other stage in Sweden'.

Bergman returned to this piece 14 years later, staging it on a considerably larger stage at the National Theatre in Oslo. 


  • The Ingmar Bergman Archives.
  • Birgitta Steene, Ingmar Bergman: A Reference Guide, (Amsterdam University Press, 2005).
  • Henrik Sjögren, Lek och raseri, Ingmar Bergmans teater 1938-2002, ( Stockholm: Carlsson Bokfölag, 2002).