Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007), born into a clerical Stockholm family in the last year of the First World War, was a director already in the nursery, where he staged plays, also by Strindberg, in his puppet theatre and made up stories with the help of his laterna magica. At seventeen he wrote his first play and in the 1940s some twenty others were to follow, a few of which were published and staged. In recent years he has returned to writing dramatic dialogues for an unspecified medium. Like his renowned autobiography, The Magic Lantern (1987), several of these texts are linked to people very close to him, especially his parents.
With his forty feature films, one hundred and seventy stage performances, some forty radio, fifteen television and several opera productions, not to mention his work as a playwright and screenwriter, Bergman has proved more versatile than any other writer-director to date. There is a great amount of overlapping between his work in the theatre and in the film studio. His films, he has said, 'are only a distillation of what I do in the theatre'. In fact, 'no other film director after the breakthrough of the sound film has been so influenced by the theatre'.
The total number of his Strindberg productions amounts to twenty-eight, eighteen for the stage, eight for radio and two for television. Like Olof Molander, his predecessor as Sweden's leading Strindberg director, he has shown a certain preference for the post-Inferno dramas. And like Molander, he has often staged the same plays more than once, A Dream Play and The Ghost Sonata both no fewer than four times, The Pelican three times, and Miss Julie, Playing with Fire and Storm twice.