TR Warszawa (before Teatr Rozmaitości), Warsaw, Poland, 2000
Author: William Shakespeare
Directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski

about the production

The production does not modernise the text violently, yet it still brings about a feeling of absolute contemporaneity in the viewer. lt is freed from pathos and exaltation. We follow Hamlet who is not a philosopher, but rather a loner and an outsider in life. The director does not read Hamlet in a romantic, political, psychological or intellectual manner. He does not see Hamlet as an angry young man. For Warlikowski it is above all a theatrical Hamlet.

The scenic treatment itself of the production multiplies the theatre in theatre or 'face to face' principle. The actors impersonating the characters 'withdraw' into the shadow of their own doubts, innermost feelings and complicated relationships. This low profile eliminates any artificial rhetorics in the text and brings out the emotionality of the subtext. The production is in a way minimalistic in expression and pace. The director puts emphasis on the interplay of light, music, sound, he strikes varied tunes of expressive means, the beauty of poetical images. The performance is based on impressionism technique: touches, emotions, looks. Everything takes place as though in minute seconds and changing scintillations. This adds a touch of the metaphysical to the performance.

The director builds the story as a mosaic of relationships, feelings and situations. He uses the principle of simultaneity as well as that of contrast. Two worlds - life and the theatre - not only meet, but c/ash. Hamlet himself is full of disharmonic half-tones, of the secret and the grotesque, of the withdrawn and the vulgar. We are infatuated by the melodious text and at the same time surprised by the emphasised sexuality, increased aggressiveness and aloofness in the action of the characters. The production presents great theatre personalities of the middle and the youngest generation of the top Polish school of acting.



director. Krzysztof Warlikowski
translation: Stanislaw Baranczak
stage and costume design: Matgorzata Szczsniak
music: Pawet Mykietyn
choreographer: Saar Maga!

Hamlet: Jacek Poniedziatek, Ophelia: Magdalena Cielecka, Gertrude (the Queen): Stanistawa Celinska, Claudius (the King): Marek Kalita, Rosencrantz: Maria Seweryn, Guildenstern: Jolanta Fraszynka, Horatio: Omar Sangare, First actor, Ghost, First Grave-digger, Osric: Cezary Kosinski, Actress, Second Grave-digger: Maria Maj, Polonius: Mirostaw Zbrojewicz, Laertes: Adam Woronowicz, Actor: Robert Wickiewicz


Krzysztof Wartikowski (1962) 

He studied History, Philosophy and Romance Studies at Jagiellonian University in Cracow, he has done a study stay at the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1995 he graduated from theatre directing in Cracow Ludwik Solski State School of Drama. During his travels abroad he met prominent personalities of the world theatre (lngmar Bergman, Giorgio Strehler), he assisted to

Peter Brook. Apart from directing at home he directed as a guest in foreign theatres in Paris, Budapest, Hamburg, Stockholm, Zagreb, Tel Aviv, Vienna and Stuttgart.

Most of his directing is related to producing Shakespeare's plays, although his work does include such authors as Sophocles, H. von Kleist, W. Gombrowicz or B. M. Koltès.

His productions are marked by a most specific theatrical language, which has its own radical advocates but also adversaries. Warfikowski's style could be characterised as a constant testing and renewal of theatre language, a collage method of quotes, non-psychological acting, sense far a striking detail of the production. The director deals with the problem

of changing identity, the topic of sex and physicality, using all the available manifestations of postmodern theatre. He ranks among the most outstanding and provocative personalities of the young generation of Polish directors.

His last productions are: W. Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (Toruň, 1993), Hamlet (Tel Aviv, 1994), Pericles (Piccolo Teatro, Milan), The Taming of the Shrew (Warsaw, 1998), Twelfth Night (Stuttgart, 1999), B. M. Koltès' Roberto Zucco (Poznan, 1994), Western Coast (Warsaw, 1998).

For his production of The Winter's Tale at the Poznan Theatre he was awarded Golden Yorick Prize at the Theatru Gedanese Festival (1997). In the national Polish competition of staging Shakespeare's plays in 1998 he won the prize for directing a production of The Taming of the Shrew.


Materials available

Video of the production: no
Scripts of the production: SK

If you are interested in these materials, write to archivy@nitrafest.sk