Pre-study for Hamlet
First and foremost we wish to apologize: to stage Hamlet, or any other play that has been done to death, today, is obviously the equivalent of saying: “I have no ideas of my own”.
In this time, when remakes, franchising and the hunt for the “built-in audience” threatens to completely wipe out any attempt of originality – why remake Hamlet, again? One of the most remade works of all time? The only sensible answer to this eagerness to reheat the stale and old has to be to build something from zero?–?the way Shakespeare himself would do it.
We understand your concern. But?–?we have a plan.
In the society that we’ve built and continue to build, we live by one all-encompassing ambition: to be good. That is, per definition, to be better than others. Sometimes, that can be measured (long jump springs to mind). Sometimes, it can’t. But even if you can’t, in the empirical sense, say that one dance piece is good, meaning better than some other piece, that’s exactly what we do, in conversations, in media; we elevate this, we trash that. Without stating on what exact grounds we do so. Even so we pass judgement with great certainty, as if it was a matter of obvious science?–?instead of what it really is: a single human being feels something, in a certain moment, and somehow voices that?–?which, in turn, is a result of the history of that particular individual; her education, her childhood, her conditions, what her parents did, said, didn’t do, didn’t say. Really, this is the basic situation: I like porridge, you don’t. Who’s right?
Hamlet is an institution. The play enjoys an indisputable status, simply because a great many people, over a great length of time, have agreed on its greatness. Liked the same porridge. Thought the same thoughts as someone before them. Stated that Hamlet is really, really good. But we suspect that if you want to give something back, if you really want to honor Shakespeare, maybe you should attempt something as formidable?–?that is, to build a masterpiece from the ground up?
Therefore, our conclusion is to propose that there is only one morally defendable way to attack Hamlet, the character, the play, the institution, today, and that is if you believe you have found a key to a new version, that in itself puts an end to the very need of Hamlet. A version so ultimate, so chocking and powerful that the play needn’t be staged again. That the recepy is defunct for all future. That this particular institution goes down, dead, buried at last.
“Pre-study for Hamlet” is therefore, more or less, our approach to this single question: Can We With Great Certainty Claim That Our Version Will Become The World’s Most Powerful Staging Of Hamlet Ever?
- Pre-study for Hamlet: looking for emotional truth
One of the mental models used in the piece is ‘the open door’. Meaning that any ‘door’ that opens during a scene can be investigated. Not as obligation, but as possibility. In the last show of PRESTUDY FOR HAMLET: LOOKING FOR EMOTIONAL TRUTH we will allow ourselves to 1) open more doors than before, and 2) use more elements(scenes) than before. This may or may not result in a longer version of the piece.
These gorgeous stars have contributed to the making of this piece: Rebecca Chentinell, Ludde Hagberg, Sutoda, Daniel Söderberg, Jonas Williamsson & Samuel Nyholm, Jens Östberg, Liv Östberg. For their fierce support, we also wish to thank these samurai warriors: Danjel Andersson, Tove Dahlblom, Anna Granath, Lisen Rosell, Katti Alm. Without these organisations, things would get harsh: Swedish Arts Council, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee. Thank you all. “Pre-study for Hamlet” is produced by Bortalaget in co-production with MDT.
- Double-bill with Jared Gradinger & Angela Schubot "What they are instead of"
- Pre-study for Hamlet: looking for emotional truth + What they are instead of
- Jens Östberg + Jared Gradinger & Angela Schubot
- 3.04 MB