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hamlet vs hamlet

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duration 3:05, incl. 1 pauze
premiere 19 Mar 2014

Guy Cassiers, Tom Lanoye and the play of plays: Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Cassiers directs this adaptation witha large cast, composed of the ensembles from Toneelhuis and Toneelgroep Amsterdam. It is the first co-production in a series of four, planned to take place between 2014 and 2016.

Regicide is what it’s all about, and how young Hamlet’s existence is completely controlled by it. Hamlet’s father is murdered by his own brother, Hamlet’s uncle Claudius. The ghost of Hamlet’s father calls on his son to avenge him. Hamlet is torn between his willingness to kill the murderer and his love for his adulterous mother, who marries Claudius shortly after the murder.

With Tom Lanoye, Hamlet is on the brink of adulthood. As an adolescent he is old enough to see through the abuses of power in his vicinity, but he also feels crushes by the adult world. The doubts and confusion that renders leave him feeling paralysed. Hamlet’s tormented monologues are cries from the heart and personal exorcisms, a charge against all injustice, certainly – but also a cursing of his own incompetence. His own actions/deeds are mainly words, rather than deeds. He is human like us all: inconsistent and ambiguous. Striving for his ambitions and fighting his fears brings him in direct confrontation with himself: Hamlet vs Hamlet.

Tom Lanoye: ‘I can best see our Hamlet played by Abke Haring. Her androgyny, her vulnerability, her inner strength – they will only increase this phantasmagoria of being and existing, of being and seeing, this whole hall of mirrors reflecting passion and paranoia. Mind you, Abke Harng is not meant to be a princess who pretends to be a prince. No, she will act the part of a young man, just like all women’s parts were played by boys in Shakespeare’s day. Not as transvestites, but as actors who embodied women. So too should Abke embody a prince. 

Guy Cassiers: ‘In the adaptation that Tom Lanoye will make of Hamlet, the development to adulthood is a central theme. In this process, imagination plays an important part. Hamlet’s imagination simultaneously stimulates and isolates him. Eventually he becomes entrapped within himself. He is at the centrum of power, but acts like an outsider. That is the core of his identity crisis: he clashes with himself. He crumbles into fragments. For Tom, and for me, that is also a metaphor for the political crisis that Europe is going through now: On the one hand there is the ambition to be a part of a globalised world, and on the other is the growing fear of losing perspective and there is a constant hankering for local identity and security. Hamlet stays an essentially European play.’



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