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Theatertreffen 2023 | 10 remarkable productions

With ingenious repetitions, loops and visions of terror, Philipp Preuss and his team give an impressive stage to the dithering and vengeful Prince Hamlet, who becomes more and more entangled in his thought loops.

  • Tragedy by William Shakespeare
  • Version by Philipp Preuss using the translation by Marius von Mayenburg
  • Anhalt Theater Dessau
  • Premiere March 25, 2022
Hamlet’s father, the king of Denmark, is dead. His son smells a conspiracy and sets out to find the perpetrator. His only suspect is Claudius, his stepfather who has become the new king. But who else is in on the plot? Hamlet obsessively mulls over these thoughts, he questions everything and everyone, constantly creates new realities in his soliloquies, remembers and experiences at the same time and finally proceeds to action. More and more people are left dead, among them his cherished Ophelia. A theatre play is intended to bring the truth to light. But is there only one single truth or has Hamlet’s imagination long since taken the wheel?

Philipp Preuss and the cast from Dessau find intelligent positings to unfurl the story of this Danish prince, told by Shakespeare in the early 17th century. Curtains constantly create new spaces, the distance to the stage is interrupted by live videos. Repetitive actions, loops and nightmarish visions address questions of being or not being, of future and past, and not least of a language that finds resonance. A Hamlet not to be easily forgotten.

 Statement of the Jury

Perhaps we have to imagine hell as endlessly wandering through a house of mirrors that reflects nothing but our own image from every wall. In Ramallah Sara Aubrecht’s breathtaking set for Philipp Preuss’ “Hamlet”-production in Dessau, the mirrors are complemented by countless curtains with video projections and a long table that reaches into the depths of the gigantic stage. Around this table, the participants of the tragedy prowl in their zombie-like existence, as if constantly scratching the wounds struck by the regicide. A purgatory where the emotional states, and thus the texts, refuse to stay with the characters that the play has allotted to them, where doppelgängers flit about and the classic play rapidly turns into an eerie, nightmarish landscape. Any escape from this bunker of the aggrieved – which seems to automatically extend all the way to Moscow in the spring of 2022 – seems permanently impossible.

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Artistic Team

Philipp Preuss Director

Ramallah Sara Aubrecht Stage Design

Eva Karobath Costume Design

Konny Keller Video

Kornelius Heidebrecht Music

Alexander Kohlmann Dramaturgy


Niklas Herzberg , Felix Axel Preißler Hamlet

Stephan Korves Claudius

Cara-Maria Nagler Gertrud / Ophelia

Boris Malré Polonius

Sebastian Graf Horatio / Rosencrantz / Actor / A gravedigger

Roman Weltzien Laertes / Guildenstern / Actor / A gravedigger

Ensemble A ghost