Monday, 15 June 2009

This Pyschodrama Ain't Big Enough For the Both of Us

This is one of those announcements which leaves you blinking rapidly and doing an exaggerated James Finlayson double-take to make sure that the words which you've just read aren't some projection from a part of your brain where strange hybrids are created in a cauldron of dream logic, emerging like an exhibit in a Victorian cabinet of curiosities, clearly pinned together from disparate and wildly mismatched components yet at the same time striking subconscious chords, as if it has already been half-glanced in a continuum set at a slight angle from the quotidian reality of the here and now. But no, when I squinted at them again through quizzically narrowed eyes, the letters hadn't rearranged themselves into something more sensible. Here they are, from Uncut magazine:

"Sparks are writing and producing an original radio musical for Swedish radio, which will be broadcast in August.

Entitled “The Seduction Of Ingmar Bergman” Sparks' Ron and Russell Mael have written the musical fantasy in Swedish, although an English version will be released after.

Speaking about the Sveriges Radio commision, Ron Mael says: “As Americans we have almost abandoned radio drama and it was truly exhilarating for us to work in a medium where the imagination of the listener is so integral a part of the work. Aside from our love of Bergman, we have a love of Orson Welles and his use of the medium of radio was something that inspired us in this work.”

Russell and Ron also see the radio musical easily transferable to the stage and they hope to stage a theatre show based on the play.

Russel Mael explains: “Although The Seduction Of Ingmar Bergman was commissioned as a radio musical, we always saw it in cinematic terms. We hope that the listeners will be able, in their own minds, to see the same movie that we wrote on hearing it on the radio and that at some point an actual film can be made of this piece. We would also like to present The Seduction Of Ingmar Bergman as a theatre piece and perhaps this will be the next stage show for Sparks.” "

Furthermore (from the Allsparks website):

"Sparks' Ron and Russell Mael have been commissioned by the Swedish National Public radio SR to write and produce an original radio musical. Sparks creation, "The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman," is a musical fantasy based on the internationally acclaimed film director Ingmar Bergman.

Though his films' themes have traditionally centered on matters of death,faith,God's existence, and the struggle to find love and meaning in our lives, Bergman is confronted in the musical by the lure of a mythological Hollywood seemingly at odds with all he stands for---a Hollywood that tempts him and ultimately tries to control him. What starts as an exploration by Bergman of the possible mutual benefits of his working in Hollywood turns into a Kafkaesque nightmare, a nightmare ended with the aid of a most unlikely savior.

The radio musical will be broadcast in August 2009. An album with both the original Swedish/English version and an all English version will be released to coincide with the airing. Sparks are planning to present the musical in a live format as well hoping to see the project be made in to a motion picture."

Well I never saw that one coming. An apposite collaboration for this blog, too, dovetailing with the title (which could now be imagined as a film lobby poster designed in the gaudy primary colours and fat lettering of seventies graphic styles) and the delight in unusual collisions and oddball juxtapositions(as well as this writer's Bergman fixation). I can't wait.

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