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William Shakespeare



Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, Romania

Director: Gábor Tompa

Performed in Hungarian with English subtitles

2 hours 45 minutes with 1 breaks.

Hamlet is simultaneously assailed by the great project of early modernity, as in the possibility of personal and direct faith, as well as a grave doubt concerning the divine origin of royal power. Claudius is described in such strong and direct words as unworthy of the exercise of kingship that the violent death of old Hamlet becomes synonymous with the death of God and the impossibility of renewing resurrection: “So excellent a king, that was to this / Hyperion to a satyr”.

Hamlet's despairing doubt is not, however, directed only at Claudius, but also at the murdered father-God, his own father. Luther's 95 theses emphasize the untenability of the dogma of purgatory (he sees it precisely as Satan's night-sowing, with which he has corrupted the doctrines of the faith), since he sees it as the self-representation of a church institution that ensures the artificially maintained dependence of the faithful. Hamlet is therefore forced to doubt the Ghost himself, since old Hamlet, in addition to suffering in purgatory, believes that his own suffering is shortened by the revenge of his own son, which is in no way a Christian idea, whether Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox.

The dramatic situation that has arisen forces Hamlet into the role of the instrumentless redeemer who does not believe in his own vocation: the son must perform an act of justice and restitution in order to restore a kingdom whose ethical order he no longer believes in, or at least of which he has serious doubts.

It is a median stance, the promise of pure tragedy and catharsis, which holds the entire work together as a perfect whole and makes it fragmentary, as is the case with great works in general. Catharsis, however, is not possible without the complete abolition of the 'order' that is in place: all must perish for the new political-ethical order to emerge from the ruins, but most of all in the heart of the spectator, who will recognize Hamlet, the performance itself, as his own situation; if he is lucky.

(András Visky)

Cast and creatives:

Claudius: Ervin Szűcs
Gertrude: Imola Kézdi
The Wittenberg Group
Hamlet: Miklós Vecsei H.
Horatio: Balázs Bodolai
Marcellus: Zsolt Gedő
Bernardo: András Buzási
Francisco: Ferenc Sinkó

Ophelia: Zsuzsa Tőtszegi

Polonius: József Bíró
Laertes: Tamás Kiss
Rosencrantz: Éva Imre
Guildenstern: Anikó Pethő
Osric: Szabolcs Balla
Ghost: Zsuzsa Tőtszegi, Lucian Chirilă
The Messenger: Gizella Kicsid
Young Hamlet: Venczel Lőrincz-Szabó
Young Ophelia: Sára Viola


Set design: András Both
Costume design: Bianca Imelda Jeremias
Dramaturgy: András Visky
Original Music: Vasile Șirli
Choreography: Melinda Jakab
Director's assistant: Emőke Veres
Video images: András Rancz
Stage manager: Réka Zongor
Costume designer's assistant: Gyopár Bocskai
Director's assistant: Sári Gálhidy


Gábor Tompa

Main Stage
Gábor Tompa

Gábor Tompa

Gábor Tompa graduated in stage and film directing from the I. L. Caragiale Theatre and Film Academy in Bucharest in 1981, having been the student of some outstanding, founders of the world-famous Romanian school of stage directing, such as Liviu Ciulei, Mihai Dimiu, and Cătălina Buzoianu. Since 1981, Gábor Tompa has been directing at the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, in 1990 he became the artistic director of the theatre and he undertook the management of the theatre as well.

He founded the Faculty of Dramatic Art in Cluj and has run its directing programme since 1991. He has been a guest lecturer at the Académie Théâtrale de l’Union, Limoges, Schauspielschule Freiburg, Brunel University, London, and Institut del Teatre Barcelona. He has staged more than 80 plays and produced another 80, directing in Romania and in countries worldwide, including France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Austria, Hungary, Ireland, Canada, Serbia, the Czech Republic, and South Korea. He has won the UNITER’s Best Director of the Year Award six times and received the UNITER’s award for Best Performance of the Year in 1989 for The Bus Station by Gao Xing Gian and in 2009, for Three Sisters. In 2002, he received the UNITER Award for Excellence for the many achievements of his career. His film, Chinese Defense, won the Best First Feature Award at the International Film Festival in Salerno, Italy in 1999 and was officially selected for the 1999 Berlin Festival. 

He is the author of several volumes of poetry and essays on theatre, such as: A hűtlen színház. Esszé a rendezésről [The Unfaithful Theatre. An Essay on Stage Direction], Bucharest, 1987; Óra, árnyékok [Clock, Shadows], poems, Bucharest, 1989; A késdöfés gyöngédsége [The Tenderness of Stabbing], studies, Cluj, 1995; Aki nem én [He Who Is Not I] poems, Mentor, Târgu Mureş, 1995; Készenlét [Alertness] poems, Héttorony, Budapest, 1990; Lidércbánya [Mine of Nightmares] poems, Pallas Akadémia, Miercurea-Ciuc, 2004; Címke-függöny [Label-curtain – Gábor Tompa’s private theatre dictionary], Bookart, Csíkszereda, 2010 and Van még könyvtár Amerikában [Are there libraries left in America?], Kalligram, Budapest 2020.

From March 2006 to April 2008 (when the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj joined the UTE), he was an individual member of the European Theatre Union. Between 2007 and 2019, he has been Head of Directing at the Theatre and Dance Department of the University of California, San Diego. In May 2018, he was elected President of the European Theatre Union.

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