News: Riverside Studios to reopen with Persona

Persona, the world premiere of a new theatrical adaptation of Ingmar 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 Ingmar Bergman himself, giving a far deeper understanding of the piece then has ever been presented before, Persona, will run from Tuesday 21 January – Sunday 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 Paul 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.

The production promises to be a sensory feast, with a fourth character ‘played’ by William Close who will play an original score on his incredible Earth Harp, which will turn the theatre itself into a giant instrument. The Earth Harp earned William a finalist slot on ‘America’s Got Talent’ and it was recently named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s longest playable stringed musical instrument.

Persona was the Roman name for the mask worn by an actor to magnify their voice. Once you start to tear away the mask you begin to see reality…

Persona runs at the Riverside Studios from Tuesday 21 January – Sunday 23 February, 2020.

Photo credit: Michael Wharley

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