Theatre, 1941

The Tinder Box

Bergman modernised Hans Christian Andersen's tale, using contemporary slang and changing Danish references in the text to places in the Stockholm area. He also removed all the scary elements in the story.

'This production has, frankly, managed to successfully remove not only the three frightening dogs, but also various other parts of the story. Now even the most fearful of children can safely see this play.'
Eva von Zweigbergk, Dagens Nyheter

About the production

Pauline Brunius, the then head of the Royal Dramatic Theatre, attended the premiere. Bergman introduced the play, requesting his audience to witness the production through a child's eyes. 

Bergman's new theatre project received positive publicity but there were some objections to the production itself for changing Andersen's original tale, tampering with a classic and universal text.


  • The Ingmar Bergman Archives.
  • Henrik Sjögren, Lek och raseri: Ingmar Bergmans teater 1938-2002, (Stockholm: Carlssons Bokförlag 2002).


  • Bertil Sjödin, The Soldier
  • Karl-Axel Forssberg, The King
  • Martha Olsson, The Queen
  • Blenda Bruno, The Princess
  • Karin Lannby, The Witch
  • Bo Lindström, The Inn keeper
  • Irma Kellgren, Shoeshine Boy
  • Rune Bernström, The Tailor
  • Olov Källman, Court Marshal
  • Anastasia, Lady of the Court
  • Adèle Lundwall, Lady of the Court
  • Maud Lindberg, Lady of the Court
  • Ragnhild Wessberg, Lady of the Court
  • Greta Wranér, Dramaturgy
  • H C Andersen, Author
  • Rune Ede, Musical arrangement
  • Ingmar Bergman, Director
  • Gunnar Lindblad, Master carpenter
  • Sven Erixson, Designer