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Tina Arena as Eva Perón in Evita. Image: Jeff Busby

The Ingmar Bergman divorce drama that broke all the rules

From TV to theatre, by a famous film director. This is the story of Scenes from a Marriage, Ingmar Bergman’s hidden gem.

Sydney Opera House

In 2018, both the Sydney Opera House and Scenes from a Marriage turn 45, and their respective Scandinavian creators turn 100. Come celebrate with The Royal Danish Theatre’s production of Scenes from a Marriage, showing 17 – 21 October 2018 in the Playhouse.

Ingmar Bergman was one of the greatest artists of his era. He wrote or directed more than 60 films and television series and close to 200 plays, and is widely considered the face of arthouse cinema. Bergman’s most acclaimed works are known for their ability to ask profound philosophical and spiritual questions through harrowing images and formal experimentation – think the chilling personification of death at the chessboard in Seventh Seal, or the intertwining faces in Persona.

 

Tina Arena as Eva Perón in Evita. Image: Jeff Busby

Scenes from a Marriage has no such timeless image. While well regarded, it’s rarely romanticised alongside the likes of Persona or The Seventh Seal in the annals of film history. A large part of that is because it originated as a television series, affecting it chances of an Oscar nomination and international attention. Its thematic ambitions were also modest: focusing on the tribulations of marriage, compared to the religious or metaphysical ideas of his earlier films.

Paulo Szot

Juan Perón

"My character is Juan Perón. He is a General and a politician and I think the most important figure in Argentina decades ago. I try to read a lot – every role I prepare. Especially when the people existed. You know – it’s not fiction.

“It’s hard because there’s so many elements and facts and pictures and videos. But I think we have to take all this information because it’s a piece not about historical fact, per se, it’s about her life & we have all these moments that weren’t reported anywhere. So it’s about relationship. It’s about finding the chemistry between them.”

Paulo Szot as Juan Perón in Evita. Image: Jeff Busby

Kurt Kansley

Che Guevara

“He’s the narrator — the puppeteer, if you have it, of the entire piece. In preparing to play the role of Che, when I found out, I did a lot of research, watching clips of other people who have performed it. But it got to a point where I was like, I want to put my own stamp on it.

“So I did a lot of research into the character himself. I’ve read The Motorcycle Diaries and watched some of the films and did a lot of research on the internet about who he was so I could put my stamp on it.”

Kurt Kansley as Che Guevara with the cast of Evita. Image: Jeff Busby

Michael Falzon

Magaldi

“He’s a tango singer. He tours throughout Argentina, and he happens to come across this small town, Junin, where he meets Eva and her family. And Eva promptly puts her claws into him and thinks, hang on, you’re a man of the world. Maybe you can take me–all of 15 she is, at this stage–to Buenos Aires and put me on my path to stardom.

“In preparing for a role like Magaldi, it’s interesting because I was so familiar with the music before coming into this rehearsal room. I felt like I’d been preparing for the role since I was a boy. A lot of the preparation for me was just anticipation and knowing a lot of it before I walked in the door made me feel comfortable coming into the rehearsal room."

Michael Falzon as Magaldi. Image: Jeff Busby

Alexis Van Maanen

Mistress

“This role is quite similar to myself in age. I’m 18 and she’s supposed to be around that age, possibly even younger, and she is a peasant, and she’s is a girl who’s learned to survive so she’s not living on the street, to find men of power and be there for their needs.

“The preparation I have done to play the role of The Mistress in Evita has been listening to the whole score as a complete show just to get that context of where my song fits and the song of 'Another Suitcase In Another Hall'.

“I think for my preparation, it was researching that history and what was going on there and how it influenced the world and how it’s so relevant now in this current political arena and the current world. Definitely a lot of research but listening to the music and understanding the lyrics and the beauty of it.”

Alexis Van Maanen as Mistress in Evita. Image: Jeff Busby

See Evita from Thursday 13 September to Saturday 3 November 2018 in the Joan Sutherland Theatre. Get tickets here.

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