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Hamlet

I think that the director from Gdansk approached this work with no key or preconceived assumptions. This does not mean I want to question his effort or intellectual sensitivity. To the contrary - I observe here praiseworthy modesty and creative responsibility. And perhaps "musicality". Wajda must have been aware that it is impossible to show everything Shakespeare wrote. And in this production he wanted to test what can be extracted from Shakespeare, to see if it was practical to break through the existing limits and fill the performance with our dreams or fantasies about Hamlet. That's why he presented the full unabridged text. He wanted to test its carrying power, although he must have realized that his control wasn't complete and many things eluded him.

Andrzej Wroblewski, "Teatr" nr 21/1960.
cit. cf: Maciej Karpinski,
"The Theatre of Andrzej Wajda", Warszawa 1980.


On the stage we discovered the same Wajda we have known from the screen; violently enacting his intellectual ideas through the clash of opposites and "convulsive" acting, unafraid of extreme and shocking effects. In this this production light is shot through with darkness: Ophelia's helpless girlishness (Elzbieta Kepinska) is set against Hamlet's "cruelty"; the king in his scene of remorse doesn't hesitate to burst out weeping; the murdered Polonius collapses on the ground tearing the sheets with his head. This is a Hamlet revealing all its contradictions and moral conflicts, translated into the language of disciplined, albeit volcanic acting, far removed from demure proposals.

Konrad Eberhardt, "Film" nr 36/1960.
cit. cf: Maciej Karpinski,
"The Theatre of Andrzej Wajda", Warszawa 1980.



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