10 November| 20:00 – I.L.Caragiale National Theatre Bucharest, Ion Caramitru Hall (Big Hall)

Hamlet is one of the most famous texts in all universal literature, and Gábor Tompa’s 2021 staging is a mirror of our contemporary world.



By: William Shakespeare

Based on the Hungarian translation by: Arany János

Adapted for stage by: András Visky


Claudius: Ervin Szűcs

Gertrude: Imola Kézdi

Wittenberg Group

Hamlet: Miklós Vecsei H.

Horatio: Loránd Farkas

Marcellus: Zsolt Gedő

Bernardo: András Buzási

Francisco: Ferenc Sinkó

Ophelia: Zsuzsa Tőtszegi

Polonius: József Bíró

Laertes: Tamás Kiss

Rosencrantz: Éva Imre

Guildenstern: Anikó Pethő

Osric: Szabolcs Balla

The Spirit: Zsuzsa Tőtszegi, Lucian Chirilă

The Messenger: Gizella Kicsid

Hamlet as a child Venczel Lőrincz-Szabó

Ophelia as a child: Sára Viola

Directed by: Gábor Tompa

Set: András Both

Costumes: Bianca Imelda Jeremias

Costumes assistant: Gyopár Bocskai

Choreography: Melinda Jakab

Original music: Vasile Șirli

Video pictures: András Rancz

Assistant directors: Emőke Veres, Sára Gálhidy

Producer: The Hungarian State Theatre, Cluj

Duration: 2h 45min (with intermission)

Not suitable under 14 years of age

Performance in Hungarian with Romanian and English subtitles

Hamlet is simultaneously assailed by the great project of early modernity, as in the possibility of personal and direct faith, as well as a serious doubt regarding the divine origin of royal power. Claudius is described in strong and direct words as being unworthy to be king. Thus, the violent death of old Hamlet becomes synonymous to the death of God and the impossibility of resurrection: “So excellent a king, that was to this / Hyperion to a satyr”.

Hamlet’s despairing doubt is not, however, directed only at Claudius, but also at the murdered father-God, his own father. Luther’s 95 theses emphasize the untenability of the dogma of purgatory (he sees it precisely as Satan’s night-sowing, with which he has corrupted the doctrines of the faith), since he sees it as the self-representation of a church institution that ensures the artificially maintained dependence of the faithful. Hamlet is thus forced to doubt the Ghost himself, since old Hamlet, in addition to suffering in purgatory, believes that his own suffering is shortened by the revenge of his own son, which is in no way a Christian idea, whether Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox.

The dramatic situation that has arisen forces Hamlet into the role of the redeemer lacking the means to act, who does not believe in his own vocation: the son must perform an act of justice and restitution in order to restore a kingdom whose ethical order he no longer believes in, or at least he has serious doubts about.

It is a median stance, the promise of pure tragedy and catharsis, which holds the entire work together as a perfect whole and makes it fragmentary, as is the case with great works in general. Catharsis, however, is not possible without the complete abolition of the ‘order’ that is in place: all must perish for the new political-ethical order to emerge from the ruins, but most of all in the heart of the spectator, who will recognize Hamlet, the performance itself, as his own situation; if he is lucky. – András Visky

Photo credit: István Biró