Uit het leven van marionetten
duration 1h and 45 min
premiere 05 Nov 2017
About the play
Everything is seemingly under control in the life of successful businessman Peter Egerman. But during a visit to a brothel, he suddenly snaps: he kills and rapes a prostitute. What caused this outburst?
Ingmar Bergman wrote in an explanation: ‘In fairly short, often interrupted or deliberately torn apart scenes, I attempt (as an outsider) to give a kind of account. I have abandoned every kind of interference. However, none of the occurring characters can make claims to explain or clarify the drama. They are all involved and therefore confounded.
In short, engaging scenes that take place before the murder, an image of model citizen Peter Egerman is created. He is caught in a web of social expectations, woven by his wife Katarina, his mother, his psychiatrist and his friends. In their testimonies after the murder, Bergman gauges the smallest vibrations hidden deeply within the layers of the human psyche like a seismograph. From the life of the marionettes is more than the investigation into the motives of an opportunity murderer. The play exposes the suffocating patterns in a society where success is too often regarded as a replacement for genuine tenderness and love.
Bergman himself thinks that everyone should draw their own conclusions. People are like marionettes, suspended by strings they don’t control themselves. Beneath the surface of a successful and controlled life, there are passions struggling to get out. Or like Tim puts it: ‘I’m being driven by forces I can’t control. Doctors, lovers, pills, alcohol, work: nothing helps. They are secret forces. Do they have a name? I don’t know.’
With her first stage directing, film director Nanouk Leopold adds a fifth Ingmar Bergman title to our repertoire. Previously, Ivo van Hove directed Scenes from a marriage, Cries and whispers, After the rehearsal and Persona at Toneelgroep Amsterdam.
With six feature films so far, Nanouk Leopold (1968) is one of the most prominent directors in the Netherlands who writes her own scenarios and screenplays. Her films are selected for prestigious film festivals such as Cannes and Berlin. For Guernsey, she received a Golden Calf for best director and Maria Kraakman won one for best leading actress.
Leopold on From the life of marionettes
‘Fear, lust and aggression. Three emotions that fight, strengthen and blind each other. People are at the mercy of their emotions. Civilization and intelligence don’t provide any consolation. Only destruction can bring peace.
I love the characters in Ingmar Bergman’s work. They are almost an abstract translation of what makes people do what they do. The idea that I am allowed to paint my own picture with these characters is very inspiring. Film and theatre maker Ingmar Bergman will serve as a kind of bridge, between me – a film maker – and the stage.
I will be making an adaptation of the feature film Aus dem Leben der Marionetten, a slightly more unknown Bergman from the 1980s. It will be a performance consisting of both filmic and theatrical means. The story is about the unhappy marriage of Peter and Katarina Egerman. Peter loves his wife. But he would prefer to kill her.’
director Nanouk Leopold
author Ingmar Bergman
translation Jan Bogaerts
dramaturge Peter Van Kraaij
scenographer Elsje de Bruijn
light design James Farncombe
sound design Donato Wharton
editor Katharina Wartena
costumes Wojciech Dziedzic
assistant director Daniël 't Hoen
assistant scenographer Ramón Huijbrechts
casting advice Hans Kemna
privat producer Van Meeuwen Kan Fonds, Gert-Jan en Corinne van den Bergh, Jeroen van Ingen en Jaap Kooijman, Mies en Jaap Kamp
head of technique & production department Wolf-Götz Schwörer
production leader Angelina Kroft, Michiel van Schijndel
first stage manager Kevin Cuyvers, Sebastiaan Kruijs
stage manager Bart Coenen, Emile Bleeker, Jordi Wolswijk, Mark Thewessen, Paul van der Zouwe, Pepijn van Beek, Ruud de Vos, Sander van Elteren, Zinzi Kemper
publicity Selman Aqiqi
director of photography Rutger Storm
focus puller Niels Roosendaal
gaffer Ralph van Reijsen
boomoperator Bram Meindersma
decorator Roger Denton
hair & makeup Scarlett Kraidy
with thanks Fonds 21 , Nesoptiek