Olivier Award winner Alice Krige, Nobuhle Ketelo, Paul Schoolman and William Close and his Earth Harp will star in the world premiere of a new stage adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, the opening production of Riverside Studios.
The world premiere of this new theatrical adaptation of Bergman’s 1966 iconic Swedish psychological movie – considered by many critics as one of the greatest films ever made – is to be the opening production in Studio 3 of the new Riverside Studios.
A new adaptation by visionary director Paul Schoolman that presents the thoughts of Bergman himself, ‘giving a far deeper understanding of the piece then has ever been presented before’, Persona will run from 21 January to 23 February 2020.
Olivier Award winner Alice Krige makes her return to the London stage after two decades working in Hollywood movies and on hit TV shows. The cast also includes South African powerhouse of talent Nobuhle Ketelo and Schoolman, who adapted Bergman’s manuscript while working in the film director’s study on the Island of Faro.
Persona centres on a nurse, Sister Alma and her patient, well-known stage actress Elisabet Vogler, who has suddenly stopped speaking. They move to a cottage, where Alma cares for Elisabet, confides in her and begins having trouble distinguishing herself from her patient.
This adaptation creates the character of The Narrator, using Bergman’s voice for the first time. A fourth character (William Close) will play an original score on his Earth Harp. The Earth Harp earned Close a finalist slot on America’s Got Talent. Joining director Schoolman are production designer Fotini Dimou and videographer Filip Haglund.
Following Persona will be Love, Loss & Chianti (25 February to 16 May) starring Robert Bathurst and Rebecca Johnson in a two-part evening pairing the critically acclaimed A Scattering with The Song of Lunch by Costa Book Prize award-winner Christopher Reid. The production is complemented by celebrated cartoonist Charles Peattie’s animations.
From 18 to 24 May, after her sell-out Liza Pulman Sings Streisand, Studio 3 presents Liza Pulman’s brand new show, The Heart Of It. Alongside her band, Pulman rediscovers and reimagines timeless classics and lost gems by Randy Newman, Stevie Wonder, Michel Le Grand, Judy Collins and a host of others.
After a five-year redevelopment the iconic Riverside Studios have a brand-new building as part of a residential development led by London developers Mount Anvil and A2 Dominion.
Hammersmith’s historic arts centre with cutting-edge facilities is due to open in three phases, with the doors to the new multi-million-pound building now open to the public for the first time.
The programme for Studio 2 will be announced soon and will feature work selected and produced by Emily Dobbs who, since her early days working behind the bar at the old Riverside, has gone on to become an acclaimed producer, most recently having presented Revolver in the West End. She will work on a year-long season of theatre at Riverside.