Theatre, 2001

John Gabriel Borkman

In one of Ibsen's last dramas Bergman gathers a fantastic ensemble, with the Bergman associates Erland Josephson and Gunnel Lindblom in the leading parts.
"A perfection so polished it runs the risk of being dead."

About the production

Ingmar Bergman cut down Ibsen's drama to a 75-minute performance. He (and Erland Josephson) toned down Borkman's megalomania, turning the former mining industrialist into an old man who dreams of his former power rather than someone seeking personal restitution. Gunnel Lindblom's portrayal of Mrs Borkman stressed the wife's angered pain over the shame that Borkman's economic machinations, bankruptcy and prison term had brought the family. Her embittered voice stood out as the central voice in the produciton, accompanied by the echoing steps of the restless Borkman traipsing about upstairs in the house and of son Erhart's comings and goings. The only non-diegetic sound used were a few bars of piano music.


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


  • Erland Josephson, John Gabriel Borkman
  • Gunnel Lindblom, Gunhild Borkman
  • Jonas Malmsjö, Erhart Borkman
  • Anita Björk, Ella Rentheim
  • Jane Friedmann, Mrs Fanny Wilton
  • Jan-Olof Strandberg, Vilhelm Foldal
  • Maria Bonnevie, Frida Foldal
  • Margreth Weivers, Malene
  • Henrik Ibsen, Author
  • Bisse Svalberg, Stage manager
  • Ludvig van Beethoven, Music
  • Käbi Laretei, Musician (piano)
  • Ian Cederholm, Musical technician
  • Jan Cruseman, Producer
  • Ingmar Bergman, Radio adaptation
  • Frida Englund, Technician
  • Klas Östergren, Translation