The Zagreb Youth Theatre, Croatia

Text: William Shakespeare
Adaptation, Direction, Choice of Music: Oliver Frljić
Translation: Josip Torbarina
Set Design: Petra Veber
Costume Design: Sandra Dekanić
Light Design: Aleksandar Čavlek
Sound Design: Tomislav Kraljić
Hamlet: Krešimir Mikić
Claudius: Sreten Mokrović
Gertrude and Ophelia: Nina Violić
Polonius: Pjer Meničanin
Laertes: Jasmin Telalović
Horatio: Goran Bogdan
Rosencrantz: Bedran Živolić
Guildenstern: Petar Leventić
Grave-digger and Priest: Milivoj Beader
Stage Manager: Stella Švacov Miletić

Running time: 90 minutes

21st International Festival of Small Scenes in Rijeka
- “Anđelko Štimac” Award for best director and dramaturgy – Oliver Frljić
- “Veljko Maričić” Award for best actor in a lead role – Krešimir Mikić
- “Veljko Maričić” Award for best actor in a supporting role – Milivoj Beader
- Mediterranean Award of the Novi List magazine for the roles of Ophelia and Gertrude – Nina Volić

“(...) The time we live in calls for a new Hamlet, just like all times do. The only thing that can surprise us is the simultaneity of theatrical speech, which calls no names, the form that turns into ruling and a morality of a different writing. Nothing is too strange for us any more – neither duality of power, nor its political mechanisms, nor repeated images of crimes, nor remorse after a sin, nor different kinds of madness caused by internal or external forces, nor metaphysical pain for the lack of love – none of it is strange enough to stop us from thinking that we have already seen it somewhere or gone through/survived it.
This is why our new/old Hamlet is written from the memories of the satisfying and fascinating reality whose consequences we face daily and whose madness we keep tripping over. And although it seems to us that we reaffirm the already known models by multiplication of the same, in some displaced segment, in a crevice, in discontinuity, lack, absence, chasm, attenuation, in some uncertainty... we observe dissimilarity. 
Do we read Hamlet in this way on the stage or we write into it? Perhaps we just live it and the life we live with Hamlet or around Hamlet we put into the frame of theatre, trying to stay true to ourselves and the reality we are talking about. Because if we read this reality from a story about a Danish prince, as a victim of historical (bad) circumstances, doomed to fail even before he started the fight and therefore unprepared to flee the destiny written in the collective conspiracy of the courtiers, it will seem so close to us that we will dare once again, for the umpteenth time, to call Shakespeare our contemporary.”    
Dubravka Vrgoč

“Hamlet is clear that the political system he stood to fight ever since he stepped onto the stage for the first time in Shakespeare’s time has reached its full maturity and realised its full potential for social control. Now, it is capable of anticipating any rebellion – assimilating, appropriating or sanctioning it as need be – depending on what turns out to be most cost-effective in the current economy of political power. The question is if there is a point in organising any political struggle in a system that has left no room for us to think of its alternatives. Is Hamlet fighting?”
Oliver Frljić

The Zagreb Youth Theatre has a clear European orientation. By its repertoire and artistic concept, seeking new forms, democracy, promotion and anticipation of new trends, styles of acting, and in the first place, its brave speaking up about contemporary topics relevant to all of us without a fear of risk, this theatre has proven to be one of the most ambitious and most attractive theatres in this part of Europe. This status is crowned by the fact that the plays of the Zagreb Youth Theatre have been selected, now almost regularly, into the programme of the legendary New York Theatre “La MaMa”. The theatre has been networked with the major European theatre centres and organisations for a while now.
The Zagreb Youth Theatre is a place of stage exploration in the field of artistic theatre for children, youth and audiences of all ages, and today it takes a significant place in the European theatre timetables as the one that pushes the borders of contemporary art further with its plays and coproduction projects.   

“(...) What is revealed in front of us is a closed family drama with the mother as the main villain, as well as scenes where positions of the closest relatives and worst enemies alternate. Those you are forced to eat with, the play suggests, will eventually be the ones who will cut your throat. And continue eating as if nothing has happened.”
Nataša Govedić, Glas Istre, 11.03.2014

“(...) we have finally got an opportunity to see a socially relevant and wisely conceptualised and directed ‘Hamlet’ which touches upon an individual rebellion indeed, but much more points its finger to our social corruption and lack of power.”
Bojan Munjin, Novosti, 14.03.2014

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