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A tribute to life and to theatre: FANNY AND ALEXANDER

It's been a long time since the last significant Bergman musical. It's the moment for a new one!

FANNY AND ALEXANDER in Linz (Photos: Landestheater Linz)

Gisle Kverndokk and Øystein Wiik (Photos: Svein Finneide)

A trailer for FANNY AND ALEXANDER with excerpts of a workshop performance in Oslo.

A new Bergman musical is on its way: A good forty years after Sondheim's A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, the multifaceted Norwegian team Gisle Kverndokk (music) and Øystein Wiik (libretto) present FANNY AND ALEXANDER. Kverndokk's and Wiik's musical version of Bergman’s penultimate film from 1982 was commissioned by Landestheater Linz, Austria, and will be premiered there on April 16, 2022.

Gisle Kverndokk and Øystein Wiik are among the most successful composer-lyricist teams of our time. With their musicals "Sofie's World", "Around the World in 80 Days" and "The Name of the Rose“, they have received thundering applause and rave reviews, especially on German-speaking stages. They have been nominated several times for the German Musical Theater Prize, and in 2017 their musical "Around the World in 80 Days" received this coveted award in three categories, including best musical.

The Laterna magica / all the world’s a play /
all the world seen by the light of one candle / this world was once mine -

The composer Gisle Kverndokk says in an interview with the online magazine „Broadway World“: "I decided to watch the movie again, and I was struck by how well it would actually suit musical theatre. (…) FANNY AND ALEXANDER is a tribute to the theatre, to life, to love and to art. The characters have such richness, and there is music in the story everywhere.“ (The complete interview can be read here). „The story has also lots of magic and mystery“,  Kverndokk, who is extremely accomplished in music theatre, adds: "The musical language of the show is supposed to recreate time, atmosphere and drama of the story and to do justice to the range of characters and weave it all together with a broad variety of musical themes". 

In FANNY AND ALEXANDER, his most successful and unexpectedly poetic film, Ingmar Bergman processed numerous autobiographical motifs. At first, the film tells the story of the mostly light-hearted everyday life of the wealthy Ekdahl theatre family, from which the two children Fanny and Alexander are torn out after their suddenly widowed mother Emilie remarries. Thanks to courageous, if mysterious helpers, they can escape from the difficult situation with their stepfather and return with their mother to the house of their blithe childhood. 

Protect our small world / be good and unconcerned like a child /
understand the bigger picture / in our little life - 

The film, which won four Oscars and was announced by the then 64-year-old Bergman as his last (however, SARABANDE followed in 2003), is characterized by the Lexicon of International Film as follows: "His memories of happy and fearful childhood moments are no less bitter and sharp-sighted than in earlier works, but here they take the form of a magnificent, sensual and detailed play, which is not coincidentally located in the theatre milieu". 




9 lead characters: 4 female, 5 male
3 Children: 1 boy (10 years), 2 girls (8 years)
Ensemble (including supporting characters): 3 female, 4 male


Flute / Piccolo - Oboe / Cor anglais - Clarinet / Bass Clarinet - Bassoon / Contrabassoon - Trumpet / Flugelhorn - Horn - Trombone - Harp - Piano - Percussion / Drums - String quartet - Double bass


A word-by-word translation for perusal is available upon request. Please contact us at post(at)musikundbuehne.de.

(Credit title photo: Landestheater Linz, Credit logo photo: Robert Josipovic)