Krzysztof Garbaczewski

Direction Krzysztof Garbaczewski
Translation Stanisław Barańczak
Script Marcin Cecko, Krzysztof Garbaczewski
Dramaturgy Marcin Cecko
Set design Aleksandra Wasilkowska
Video, lighting director Robert Mleczko, Marek Koazakiewicz
Costumes Svenja Gassen, Sławomir Blaszewski
Choreographic consultation (butoh dance) Sylwia Hanff
Stage manager, prompter, assistant director Hanna Nowak

Actor, Osric - Zygmunt Józefczak
Gravedigger, Actor I - Małgorzata Gałkowska
Gravedigger, Actor II - Bogdan Brzyski Guildenstern / Szymon Czacki
Hamlet - Bartosz Bielenia / Krzysztof Zarzecki
Hamletmachine - Roman Gancarczyk
Horatio - Paweł Smagała / Maciej Charyton
Claudius - Krzysztof Zawadzki
Queen Gertrude - Iwona Budner
Ophelia - Jaśmina Polak
Polonius - Paweł Kruszelnicki
Rosencrantz - Marta Ojrzyńska

Premiere June 13th, 2015

Hamlet – Garbaczewski’s Hamlet is an auteur-style, highly artistic, amusing and irritating, breaking down and expanding the theatrical space, mixing various textual sources and sprinboards, but also not forgetting to tell a story and, through it, to express and give meaning to the world. “Hamlet is a spider's web, its center is Elsinore, an alien environment, far from the civilized world, to the which the Prince is desperately trying to give meaning. William Shakespeare moulds his work doubting the purpose of revenge. What can vengeance mean when the authority of Hamlet/the Ghost ceases to hold?” the artists ask. “Krzysztof Garbaczewski brilliantly reconciles the contradictions: faith in the text and its rejection, faith in drama and a belief in its anachronism, the virtuoso director and the anarchic stage. No other Polish director has such an impressive visual imagination – and Hamlet, with its sets designed by Aleksandra Wasilkowska, is further evidence. Over the stage hangs an enormous mirror-screen that recalls a rosette – it turns on its axis and casts flashes of light. This play scatters Hamlet like a prism. Out of the maudlin ‘to be or not to be’ Cecko makes an open-ended ‘to be, or not: to be decided.’ This is why the subsequent scenes create variants on an idea for Hamlet, separate dense worlds that more stand as neighbors than result from one another,” concludes Witold Mrożek in Gazeta Wyborcza.

In one scene Helena Modrzejewska explains that it is not possible to create a single, compact production of the play, because Hamlet is at the same time psychological, political and social. This is why Garbaczewski has three Hamlets. The oldest (Roman Gancarczyk) recites fragments from Heiner Müller’s Hamletmachine, the youngest (Bartosz Bielenia) is sometimes Ophelia, while the middle one (Krzysztof Zarzecki), who presents a graphomaniac testimony penned by Marcin Cecko, tries to overcome melancholy, obsession with death and his inability to love (which Jaśmina Polak’s the rebellious Ophelia accuses him of).
Aneta Kyzioł: Hamlet roz(s)trojony, Polityka.

Garbaczewski’s Hamlet is a machine. A theatre machine. A mythological machine. Matrices that trigger and drive contemporary cultural tendencies, the fluid nature of both individual and collective identity, current political events, social anxieties or the number of accessible artistic conventions. Chance, intuition and symptoms of interpretation that can never be rationally motivated. (…) With Garbaczewski the poison is not poured into the ear. The poison turns out to be words. The poison is poured from the mouth to the ear. The words have been devaluated, they can be manipulated, their meaning can be changed, their colour, temperature, addressee and the person pronouncing them. The capacity of the sign is unlimited. Instead of a choice between “yes” or “no”, there is only perhaps. The fluid postmodern is an explosive mixture, washing away at our continent and flooding the borders. Words no longer have anything to say. Words do not talk. Words, words, words. Words liquidate performance. “My brain is a single scar. I want to be a machine. Hands for grabbing feet for walking, no pain, no thought!”
Anka Herbut: To be or not: maybe to be, Dwutygonik.

Krzysztof Garbaczewski (1983) – Theatre director and set designer, known for his elaborate sets and innovative adaptations. He graduated in direction from the Ludwik Solski State Theatre School in Krakow. He studied uner the director Krystian Lupa, in 1998 assisting him with his award-winning production Factory 2 at the National Old Theatre in Krakow, inspired by the life and work of Andy Warhol. In the same year, he made his own debut in the Jan Kochanowski Theatre in Opole with a production of Elfriede Jelinek’s Sports Play. A year later he first worked with the writer Marcin Cecko, on a production of Homer’s Odyssey. Cecko continues to be his chief dramaturg. The Odyssey brought him an award for best direction and set design at the Krakow Divine Comedy festival. Together they have created a number of distinctive productions from various literary sources, from a pop-culture/deconstructivist look at Star Wars entitled Death Star (2010, Wałbrzych Theatre), Dostojevsky’s Demons (2010, Polish Theatre, Wroclaw) and the well-known work of the anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski The Sexual Life of Savages (2011, New Theatre, Warsaw). His production in Opole of Gombrowicz’s Ivona, Princess of Burgundia (2012) gained two awards at the Divine Comedy festival, for set design and visual effects. Garbaczewski continues to be interested in fundamentally Polish works and themes – his production of Slowacki’s Balladyna in at Wroclaw’s Polish Theatre was both award-winning and controversial. He has continued in the National Old Theatre with an original work by Marcin Cecko, A Gallery of Polish Kings. Garbaczewski has also worked in the New York theatre La MaMa, and in 2014 directed Camus’ Caligula in Stuttgart.

National Old Theatre of Helena Modrzejewska in Krakow – One of Poland’s oldest theatres, founded at the end of the 18th century. It bears the name of a famous actress, who in the 19th century gained a name on both European and American stages for her remarkable performances in Shakespearean roles. Since the second half of the 19th century the theatre’s reputation has been shaped by outstanding artists such as Tadeusz Kantor, Lidia Zamkowá, Jerzy Grotowski, Zygmunt Hübner, Konrad Swinarski, Jerzy Jarocki, Andrzej Wajda, Krystyna Zachwatowiczová, Krystian Lupa, Jerzy Grzegorzewski, Stanisław Radwan, Zygmunt Konieczny, Zofia a Jerzy Skarżyńští, Jerzy Juk-Kowarski, Wojciech Krakowski, Kazimierz Wiśniak and many others. Grzegorz Jarzyna and Krzysztof Warlikowski made their directorial debuts here. In recent years significant directors of the younger and middle generation have worked with the theatre, such as Maja Kleczewská, Monika Strzępková, Barbara Wysocká, Michał Borczuch, Wojciech Faruga, Wojciech Klemm, Marcin Liber, Wiktor Rubin, Paweł Świątek and Michał Zadara. Since January 2013 the theatre’s managing director has been Jan Klata. The current repertore consists of productions of contemporary works and reinterpretations of classics, as well as groundbreaking multimedia and musical projects. The Old Theatre is permanently open to young artists: directors, set designers, composers and choreographers, as well as dramatists – a number of the plays produced were written directly for the Old Theatre. Since 2009 the theatre has been part of the international Mitos21 European Theatre Network of leading European theatres. This cooperation is bearing fruit in the form of joint international theatre projects.