“Hamlet”: In the name of the Father

“Hamlet”: In the name of the Father

Hamlet “IS”! To the Argentina Theater the reinterpretation of the best known of Shakespeare’s plays is staged until 4 December, directed by Giorgio Barberio Corsettiwith main performers Fausto Cabra (Hamlet), Peter Faiella (Polonium), Sarah Putignano (Gertrude), Mimosa Campironi (Ophelia). It all begins when his friend Bernard testifies to Hamlet that he has spoken in a nocturnal vision with the specter of the assassinated king, father of the prince, whom he recognized by his martial gait. In his reinterpretation, Barberio Corsetti ties that ghost to a long elastic rope that keeps him from abandoning the territories of Hades, to which the deceased King of Denmark now belongs for eternity, even if a supernatural will allows him to appear in the middle of the night inside the Elsinor Castleto plead his son’s spirit of vengeance against his regicide.

And he waits, therefore, before appearing for the fourth and last time, after being called back by the crowing of the rooster (which never stops at Christmas time, to keep the spirits away!), for his son to be present at the scene, to which to reveal the indecent crime: the fratricide committed by his brother Claudius, to then marry the same mother of Hamlet in second marriage, the Queen Gertrude. Elsinor, which in the scenario of Argentina becomes a large gray tubular scaffolding like the stones of the secular castle of which Shakespeare narrates.

Basically, an armor supporting the show, modular and segmented into two-three large portions, to recover large internal and external spaces from the prevailing empty volume, where alcoves descend into transparent intimacy, parade grounds and vertical labyrinths in which the characters and, more often their suffering souls, move from lower to higher floors, now climbing ladders, now mountaineering to climb pylons, as primates would do in trees. And then, there is his critical configuration whereby, in a very skilful game of joints, a gigantic inclined plane equipped with large trapdoors opens towards the proscenium, from which the characters on the stage appear and disappear. Called, all of them, to act poised on the inclined surface that draws their lives ever more downwards, ready to roll them into the abyss below the first misstep.

Because conspiracies have the same nature as that treacherous and slippery slope: they can fail following an unexpected event, despite their most careful planning. On the scene Hamlet, like the other actors, wears civilian clothes, thus stripping himself of the historic black mourning outfit that its author has sewn on him since the first scene. Also because, in the original text, the protagonist, speaking to his mother, reads as follows: “But what I have inside goes beyond the exhibition. These exteriors are all saddle cloths, and liveries of pain, nothing more”. But the King insists that Hamlet, by getting rid of the mourning clothes, accept the mortal destiny that awaits every man by assuming the concrete responsibilities of the sole heir to the throne of Denmark, and thus abandon the cultural ambitions that lead him to ask his mother to leave again for frequent the University of Wittenberg.

And he obeys, Almleto, but his soul reverberates dark feelings of suicide and rude condemnation for that mother who in just two months had erased the memory of her husband. From there, from this Oedipus rampant, the instinct for revenge is born in Hamlet to execute the murderous usurper. And it is precisely this obscure need that Hamlet brings to the table when speaking with Horace, his much-loved and trusted companion when they were both students at Wittemberg, referring to the leftovers from the funeral feast served cold at the wedding dinner which had immediately followed his father’s public funeral. Because the black souls of his uncle and his mother apparently love to feed on corpses! But, having obtained confirmation of his worst suspicions from the paternal specter, Hamlet has no choice but to take refuge in madness, because from that jester’s pulpit, articulating Pirandello’s “crazy chord”, he will be able to shout the whole truth in the face of that hypocritical world, courtier and liar about the regicide and the perfidious cahoots of the two lovers.

But, the game of being crazy practiced to the end will mean putting his best friends and, above all, the carnal love of Opheliasister of Laertes, his best friend, causing the accidental death of his father Polonium who, like his son, had systematically warned Ophelia against Hamlet’s superficiality, because the destiny of a crown prince is to contract the marriage that best suits the kingdom, to maintain and increase its peace and well-being.

In the symbology of Barberio Corsetti, Hamlet will slip from that immense inclined table which is the life of a future king, to fall into an unmade bed, while Ofelia watches him from above in her immense displeasure. Going mad in turn, then, when she discovers Hamlet’s crime and the thankless fate of her father Polonius, who will be buried without honors and secretly, to hide the scandal from his subjects and court dignitaries. King Claudius, invited together with the queen to attend the staging of a play orchestrated by Hamlet, in order to put the real regicide in the form of a theatrical drama, he senses that in reality the stepson is aware of the whole truth about his fratricide and therefore decides to suppress it. The ending is a tragic sequence of homicides-suicides, because when the crime mixes with the reasons for revenge, the justice of men evaporates but that of God.

“Hamlet”: In the name of the Father