Production | 10 remarkable productions


Tragedy by William Shakespeare
In a version by Philipp Preuss based on the German translation by Marius von Mayenburg

Anhaltisches Theater Dessau

Premiere 25 March 2022

A woman in a white sweeping dress strides across a long table with people seated to the right and left.

Trailer © Anhaltisches Theater Dessau

In elaborate repetitions, loops and horrific visions, Philipp Preuss and his team set an impressive stage for the hesitant and revengeful Prince Hamlet who is more and more tangled up in his convoluted thoughts.

Audience Discussion
Monday, 29 May after the performance and until 31 December 2023 as videoon demand from Tuesday, 30 May in the media library
Moderation: Vivian Perkovic, attending jury member: Janis El-Bira

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.

Tojuror Janis El-Bira’s video statement in the Berliner Festspiele Media Library (in German)

Programmebooklet (pdf, 5.3 MB)

Artistic Team

Philipp PreussDirector
Ramallah Sara AubrechtStage Design
Eva KarobathCostume Design
Konny KellerVideo
Kornelius HeidebrechtMusic
Alexander KohlmannDramaturgy


Niklas Herzberg , Felix Axel PreißlerHamlet
Stephan KorvesClaudius
Cara-Maria NaglerGertrud / Ophelia
Boris MalréPolonius
Sebastian GrafHoratio / Rosencrantz / Actor / A gravedigger
Roman WeltzienLaertes / Guildenstern / Actor / A gravedigger
EnsembleA ghost

Performing rights: henschel SCHAUSPIEL Theaterverlag Berlin