'An absolute high point in Swedish theatre in the last 50 years.'Henrik Sjögren
About the production
Bergman placed only four black chairs and canapés on a chequered marble floor - like a chessboard - against an autumnal tapestry-like backdrop. The only scene changes consisted of two servants moving the chairs around. Max von Sydow's mask, with its thin black moustache, reminded some commentators of Molière. The mask was similar to Vogler's in The Magician.
- The Ingmar Bergman Archives.
- Henrik Sjögren, Lek och raseri, Ingmar Bergmans teater 1938-2002, ( Stockholm: Carlsson Bokfölag, 2002).
Bergman's Molière presentation received rave reviews, with critics focusing on the erotic tension that permitted his interpretation of Molière's comedy of manners and on Max von Sydow's portrayal of an angry young man and idealist.
The critical tributes to Bergman's The Misanthrope production culminated in Henrik Sjögren's review, in part written as an official thank-you to the director:
TO INGMAR BERGMAN: my admiration and gratefulness for The Misanthrope. As far as I understand it, this is the most ingenious staging, the fiest, richest, and most sensitive production that Malmö City Theatre has ever shown.
With his The Misanthrope production, essential features in Bergman's stagecraft became cemented in the critical evaluation: clarity and balance; musical timing of dialogue, coupled with precise movement of the actors; and careful attention focused more on Bergman's ability to present a splendid and cohesive feast for the eye than on his character and theme analysis. This was a marked contrast to the reception of his filmmaking with its focus on thematic.
- Max von Sydow, Alceste
- Gertrud Fridh, Célimène
- Frank Sundström, Philinte
- Bibi Andersson, Éliante
- Marianne Aminoff, Arsinoe
- Åke Fridell, Oronte
- Oscar Ljung, Clitandre
- Tor Isedal, Acaste
- Axel Düberg, Dubois
- Lenn Hjortzberg, Basque
- Leif Forstenberg, The officer
- Molière, Author
- Ingmar Bergman, Director
- Kerstin Hedeby, Designer