by Bergman, Ingmar

  • After the Rehearsal

Genre: Drama

Cast 1 male 2 female

Length Full

Set Interior

Licence World ex. Sweden


The simple setting is an old stage theatre following an afternoon rehearsal. The actors have left and the aging director, Henrik Vogler, sits alone surrounded by old props from productions of Ibsen and Strindberg. Anna Egerman, cast as Agnes in Vogler’s current production of Strindberg’s “Dream Play” enters, surprising him.

Anna’s mother Rakel was an attractive actress who left the theatre to raise a family. Rakel and Vogler were occasional lovers. Anna’s mother is dead and her father gone.

Vogler expresses his views on actors, artistic morality and scenography, echoes of Bergman’s statements over the years.  He also talks about the thin line between fantasy and reality, past and present. 

In a flashback Rakel enters searching for her shoes. She is 46, drunk and voluptuous. At the time Anna was 12. Vogler has asked Rakel to play a small part in a new production.  The alcoholic Rakel is in and out of institutions. Their conversation is bitter, ironic and tense. Rakel leaves and Vogler promises to visit her.

We return to the present. Anna tells Vogler she is pregnant, later that she has had an abortion and will divorce her husband.

Vogler contrives a fantasy love affair with Anna and she falls into her role. The make-believe affair ends with them parting as friends.

Vogler stays behind, left alone.  The church bells, which have been chiming, fall silent or perhaps it is just that the Director can no longer hear them.

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