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Hamlet (Maestri; Pititto, 2011)

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In this production of Hamlet, there were three Hamlets, sometimes taking turns, sometimes together on stage. The idea reflected the schizophrenia of Hamlet. The arrangement allowed the audience to see different forms of Hamlet’s madness and confront different aspects of the protagonist’s personality.

Cast & Crew

Creation: Maria Federica Maestri, Francesco Pititto
Translation, dramaturgy, imagoturgy: Francesco Pititto
Direction, staging, costumes: Maria Federica Maestri
Music: Andrea Azzali_Monophon
Performers: Liliana Bertè, Franck Berzieri, Guglielmo Gazzelli, Paolo Maccini, Luigi Moia, Lino Pontremoli, Delfina Rivieri, Vincenzo Salemi, Elena Varoli, Barbara Voghera, and Mauro Zunino
Rehabilitation project manager: Paolo Pediri
Scientific direction: Rocco Caccavari
Production: Lenz Rifrazioni


Performed at multiple venues in Italy, including Teatro Farnese (Parma, Italy), one of the most beautiful Baroque theatres in the world, Palazzo della Pilotta, Galleria Nazionale, Rocca dei Rossi, San Secondo Parmense, and Reggia di Colorno. The production draws on the unique architecture to stage the multiple facets of the contemporary Hamlet-dilemma.

Rocca dei Rossi di San Secondo (2010)
Reggia di Colorno (2011)
Teatro Farnese, Parma (2012)

See also 2010 performance staged at the Rocca dei Rossi & San Secondo Parmense, Parma, Italy.


Highlight: The encounter of Hamlet and Ophelia

In an improvised scene, Paolo Maccini and Delfina Rivieri enact Hamlet’s rejection of Ophelia. The performers use simple words, frequently relying on repetitions. The dialogue echoes the lines from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Heiner Müller’s Hamletmachine, yet it also reflects the actors’ experiences. The inwardly and hesitant behavior of the performers reveals their extreme sensibility; both of them were long-term patients of the mental hospital in Reggia di Colorno. Their vulnerability brings new insights into the interpretation of Shakespeare’s lovers. Ophelia’s words accusing Hamlet of insanity sound particularly ironic in the production of Lenz Rifrazioni. The conversation finishes with Opelia’s desperate refusal to go the nunnery; she walks out determined to commit suicide for unrequited love. As Rivieri moves away from Maccini, she is sawing the air with her hands, as if drowning.

Throughout the scene, the performers contrast with the silent video projection of Rivieri, who at first is seen in close-ups and then is shown walking out of the room. The image focuses the attention of the spectators on the actress. It also introduces a spatial and temporal perspective that is beyond the here and now of the performance and that represents the inner world of the performer.



Statement by Lenz Rifrazioni; translated from Italian by Aneta Mancewicz

The Hamlet of Lenz Rifrazioni, directed by Maria Federica Maestri and Francesco Pititto with original music by Andrea Azzali, invades the noble floor of Reggia di Colorno with its monumentality.

The production represents the culmination of a long and profound artistic experience initiated in 2000 by Lenz Rifrazioni in collaboration with the Department of Mental Health of AUSL (Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale) in Parma.

The macroinstallation in the architectural complex of Reggia di Colorno (a ducal residence transformed into a mental hospital, which subsequently became one of the institutional symbols rejected in the battles waged by Franco Basaglia) and the specificity of the performers render the event unique and hardly repeatable. (The nucleus of the actors are the former mental patients who in the past were themselves long-stay residents of the asylum of Colorno and, in many cases, members of a therapeutic-rehabilitative community of Pellegrino Parmense.)

The cast consists of Liliana Bertè, Franck Berzieri, Giovanni Carnevale, Guglielmo Gazzelli, Paolo Maccini, Luigi Moia, Lino Pontremoli, Delfina Rivieri, Vincenzo Salemi, Mauro Zunino, along with Elena Varoli and Barbara Voghera, who have already been extraordinary performers of Hamlet of Lenz in the 1999 staging. Taking the Shakespearean text as a point of departure, they create a great tragic fresco of human existence.

Lenz and his ensemble of actors have performed Faust, Life is a Dream and the Tetralogy of Büchner before stating Hamlet. The structural asymmetry of the text and its perfect dramaturgic disequilibrium profoundly resonate with the psychological asymmetry of the actors who perform it. Planting the conceptual and thematic knots of Hamlet into their own intimate geographies, the performers have intensely engaged with the words of the play during a long laboratory work of two years, until they have produced a true and proper emotional rewriting, both personal and unique.


(Production notes provided by Aneta Mancewicz)





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