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Hamlet

Schauspielhaus Zürich
By William Shakespeare
German translation by Elisabeth Plessen

Directed by Jan Bosse
Stage design Stéphane Laimé
Costume design Kathrin Plath
Music Arno P. Jiri Kraehahn
Lighting design Peter Bandl
Dramaturgy Gabriella Bussacker

Edgar Selge Claudius, Ghost
Franziska Walser Gertrud
Joachim Meyerhoff Hamlet
Jean-Pierre Cornu Polonius
Mike Müller Horatio, Undertaker
Oliver Masucci Laertes
Maja Schöne Ophelia
Tomas Flachs Nóbrega Rosencrantz
Michael Ransburg Guildenstern
and others

Premiere 3 March 2007
Length app. 3h 30, one interval

Talk with the audience
Moderation Tobi Müller
Thu 15 May 23:00

In this production in the Zurich Schiffbauhalle – transformed into a banqueting hall – everything seems to be a little on the large size: the blinding mirrors under which the audience become guests at the laid tables of the rotten state of Denmark, the enormous catwalk in the middle, on which the newlyweds Claudius (Edgar Selge) and Gertrude (Franziska Walser), having just entered a marriage of political convenience, strut and wave jovially. But oversize dimensions are just what is needed in Jan Bosse’s Shakespeare production. Joachim Meyerhoff, who plays a somewhat old Hamlet, fills the whole room with his hyperactivity and sharp-tongued intellect. And he quite literally takes control of the room: Hamlet’s mission of revenge on behalf of his father’s ghost (who is paradoxically also played by Selge) becomes a paranoid display of power. The grey nerd Hamlet is transformed into an entertainer and master thinker, fascinating everyone with his witty and nasty comments. After Hamlet’s morals have led him to commit murder he crowns himself and – in a departure from Shakespeare’s text – makes himself the king for just a moment. Hamlet becomes a new spirit, the spirit of a new age whose foundation myth will have to be told over and over again. Jan Bosse has faced this challenge, and produced a play of remarkable clarity, performed in capital letters.