Private Confessions

Premiére date9 Jan. 2016
Produced byThe National Theatre, The Norwegian Touring Theatre (Riksteatret)
Based onPrivate Confessions by Ingmar Bergman
ExpressionsTheatre, Drama
Running period9 Jan. 2016  
Duration2 hours, 20 minutes, including an interval

About Private Confessions

Private Confessions (2016) is a theatre production by The National Theatre in collaboration with The Norwegian Touring Theatre, based on the novel by Ingmar Bergman. It will be performed at The National Theatre's main stage prior to touring Norway.

Liv Ullmann directs it and is also responsible for the adaption for the theatre. She wrote and directed a film version of the same novel in 1996.

Marte Engebrigtsen played the role of Anna.

The production was invited to the Bergman festival at The Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm in 2016.

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Press review

Lillian Bikset, Følsomme forståelser (literally: Sensitive sensibilities), Dagbladet January 9 2016:

"The people of Private Confessions thirst for understanding. That's exactly what Liv Ullmann shows them. (...) This is theatre laden with emotions, but it is also analytical. The people described are people who examine themselves, people who interpret while narrating. With that arguments, thoughts, ideas, conflicts, doubt and confidences are made clear, but the spectator can never be sure of what is objectively true, what is consciously (or unconsciously) a lie, and what is an unjustly angled, subjective version of the truth. (...) The result is rich in words, but also easily accessible. Most of it is stated, explained and discussed. It is nuanced, but rarely subtle."

Karen Frøsland Nystøyl, Fortrolighet for åpen scene (literally: Intimacy in the open), Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation January 10 2016:

"Private Confessions is a simple and clear-cut production. Structured in chapters and centred around its dialogue. No effects, no music lie beneath the conversations playing out. This is an effect that directs the audience's attention where Ullmann wants it: To the conversation between two, in which nothing is allowed to disturb and real life, for better and worse, gets to the surface. Tight, close and demanding acting gets the concentration it deserves. The narrator's voice is followed by music by Shostakovich, Schumann, Beethoven. Strictly, not necessary, perhaps except for the Schumann cut, with relevance to the content of the scene to come. (...) Marte Engebrigtsen as Anna stands with her back straight through the storm in her longing for a life in happiness and love. The women are the strong characters of the production, the men are who choose evasion whenever something becomes difficult. Private Confessions is concentrated and fine, with depth and many layers, but it needs to be performed until it reaches some kind of firmness."

More about Private Confessions

At the webpage of The National Theatre the following, among other things, is written about Private Confessions:

"It is about Anna, a woman from the first part of the last century, who has to pay the price for honesty in more ways than one. This is a story Bergman meant that only Liv Ullmann was able to tell - a story about love, fidelity, freedom and the courage to live."


The National Library of Norway, performance program transferred to Sceneweb 31.05.2018

The National Theatre,, 11.06.2015,