The tragic story of Prince Hamlet possesses a unique quality of being appropriate in various historic periods, thereby expressing the quintessence of people’s social and very private emotions. The play, created by Shakespeare more than four centuries ago, has gathered in theatres worldwide a range of interpretations and dramatic adaptations adjusting and placing it in the context of every given epoch. All the transformations, the variability of the text, different interpretative approaches to the translations of Shakespeare’s original narrative and alterations and elaborations of separate motifs of the classic plot serve to accentuate the eternal universal message of this work.
The new scenic version of Hamlet’s story, composed by director Valery Fokin, uses both poetic and prosaic translations of Shakespeare’s tragedy.
This particular dramatic adaptation, showcasing modern day accents of perception of the story’s conflicts, was created by dramatist Vadim Levanov. The whole play revolves around poignant inner emotions of a person doomed to live in a hypocritically mendacious atmosphere where criminal ambitious aggressiveness lurks behind a glossy façade of life. Hamlet’s tragedy is the tragedy of a person who attempts to put up a fight against lies and crime yet is swallowed up by vulgarity, pettiness and betrayal.
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The story of a reigning Denmark dynasty that wiped itself out, flung right into the audience hall, carries a strong appeal for today’s audience. “A mousetrap,” as Fokin refers to it, is not so much a psychological trap set for Claudius (psychology and hidden subtle motives are not to be found in this play), rather the whole set of the play where both slaughterers and victims found themselves entrapped.
Alyona Karas. “Hamlet,” Friend to Paradox
Rossiyskaya Gazeta, April 2010
Fokin creates a play that looks like a journalistic coverage, conjoining the 21st-century Hamlet with his 20th-century ancestors. Hamlet, despised by the 20th century, has a chance to awake from heavy dreams and get back to the habitually nightmarish reality. Fokin’s Hamlet must grab at a bit of consciousness – just a bit, neither the Prince nor his contemporaries want more.
Elena Gorfunkel. COVERAGE FROM THE CROWD
The Drama Empire, May 2010