Theatre, 1970

Hedda Gabler

Bergman produced a near replica of his 1964 Royal Dramatic Theatre staging in London, with an unfortunate Maggie Smith in the leading role.
'Hedda in London was not a good production. All the rehearsals were plagued. I despise London.'
Ingmar Bergman

About the production

This was Bergman's first production outside Scandinavia. In England, Bergman met actors with a different rehearsal routine than in Scandinavia. 'Their professionalism and speed frightened me a little. […...] They had learned their lines by the first rehearsal. As soon as they had the scenery, they started acting at a fast tempo. I asked to slow down a little and they loyally tried to, but it bewildered them'.

A number of reviews sensed a mismatch between director and actress, and complained about the icy coldness of Bergman's vision of Hedda's surrounding.



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


  • Maggie Smith, Hedda Gabler
  • Jeremy Brett, Jörgen Tesman
  • Robert Stephens, Eilert Lövborg
  • Jeanne Watts, Juliane Tesman
  • Sheila Reid, Thea Elvsted
  • John Moffatt, assessor Brack
  • Julia McCarthy, Berte
  • Henrik Ibsen, Author
  • Richard Hamer, Stage manager
  • Ingmar Bergman, Director
  • Michael Meyer, Translation