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12 December 2015
  National Stary Theatre — Big Stage

Directed by:

Krzysztof Garbaczewski


William Shakespeare


150 min.


Krzysztof Garbaczewski’s fascinating take on the canonical play by William Shakespeare references the history and tradition of the National Stary Theatre in Krakow. To be more specific, the never-finished staging of Hamlet by Konrad Swinarski from 1975, interrupted by the tragic death of its director. Marcin Cecko’s adaptation doesn’t have metaphysical dilemmas at its core, but rather the language and the skillfully meta-theatrical games played with the original. The protagonist is divided into three different personas here, masterfully played by three actors of different generations – Bartosz Bielenia, Krzysztof Zarzecki and Roman Gancarczyk. This dramaturgical strategy is used not to create a schizophrenic universe around the Prince of Elsynor, but rather to engage the audience in an unpredictable, provocative play on their expectations regarding “a proper staging” of the classic drama. Ophelia (Jaśmina Polak) is turned into a sexually liberated woman who isn’t afraid to take any risks. Gertrude (Iwona Budner) talks to her son on her cell phone and isn’t willing to take all the blame for the evil that happens in the depicted world. And Guilderstern (Szymon Czacki) suddenly transforms into the figure of Swinarski himself, wearing his characteristic turtleneck and jacket, and starts to direct some of the sequences.

Garbaczewski subverts the theatrical illusion, making fun of it while interweaving multiple aesthetics – he parodies the conventions of operetta as well as certain devices typical of subjective drama, and uses phrases taken from Heiner Müller’s play Hamlet/Machine. Impressive set design by Aleksandra Wasilkowska enhances the meta-theatrical effect and the meaning of each scene: she hangs a monumental mirror/screen over the stage that reflects and multiplies, following actions, gestures and poses, creating a total simulacrum.


Directed by Krzysztof Garbaczewski

Screenplay by Marcin Cecko, Krzysztof Garbaczewski

Translation by Stanisław Barańczak

Dramaturgy by Marcin Cecko

Scenography by Aleksandra Wasilkowska

Costumes by Svenja Gassen, Sławomir Blaszewski

Music by Pedal Pushers

Video, lighting design by Robert Mleczko, Marek Kozakiewicz

Choreography Consultant (Butoh dance): Sylwia Hanff


Zygmunt Józefczak

Małgorzata Gałkowska

Bogdan Brzyski

Szymon Czacki

Bartosz Bielenia / Krzysztof Zarzecki

Roman Gancarczyk

Krzysztof Zawadzki

Iwona Budner

Jaśmina Polak

Paweł Kruszelnicki

Marta Ojrzyńska

Paweł Smagała (guest star)