By William Shakespeare
Director: Thomas Ostermeier
Translator: Marius von Mayenburg
'Hamlet rages and blows across the stage, a Gollum on ecstasy, a mama’s boy, spoiled brat, an exploding nerd, who takes his feigned madness so far that it becomes his undoing.' - Süddeutsche Zeitung
'Startlingly and shockingly replete with the issues of the here and now... It is a tour de force.' - British Theatre Guide
If you think you've seen Hamlet, think again.
This most-quoted of plays is pushed to the extreme in the long-awaited Sydney debut of one of the world's great theatre houses, Berlin's Schaubühne.
Director Thomas Ostermeier's audacious production finds new human revelations and fresh political insights in the centuries-old story of Denmark's corrupt court - a system that has become a paranoid maze for Hamlet. Murder, betrayal, manipulation and sexuality are just some of the weapons he uses in his fight to preserve power.
Shakespeare serves up over 20 characters, shaping a political biosphere from the differing interests and intrigues. In this production, just six actors constantly change roles and negotiate the psychologically risky and physically dangerous territory with gusto.
Hamlet's emotional decay and growing paranoia are immediately clear in Lars Eidinger's portrayal. He is simultaneously magnificent and repulsive and, as the last person with scruples in a system with none, finally doomed.
Thomas Ostermeier has been one of the artistic leaders of the Schaubühne Berlin since 1999. In this Hamlet he exposes a timeless dilemma: how the need for reflection conflicts with the short-term thinking that prevails in our political systems.
Performed in German with English surtitles.
Contains smoking and gunshots.
Latecomers will not be admitted.
Photo: Arno Declair