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Jacek Fabiszak

Abstract

Jan Klata is a director who has been labelled a provocateur and who is considered to hold nothing cultural or national sacred. From the beginning of his artistic career he is said to have challenged authorities: theatrical, ethnic, national, etc. by debunking and questioning prevailing heroic myths and forms. Today, imperceptibly yet steadily, Klata himself becomes an authority and his theatrical productions gradually become classics in the eyes of the new generations of theatre directors and audiences, at the same time inciting and inevitably inviting cultural rebellion ... The article examines Klata’s treatment of theatrical and national authority in his Shakespeare productions, on the one hand, and the image of the director as an authority on the other. All in the light of the theoretical model on authority in theatre, especially in Shakespeare productions, developed by W.B. Worthen.

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Xenia Georgopoulou, Agnieszka Rasmus and Sebastian Tonn

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Monika Sosnowska

Abstract

Shakespeare’s dramas are potentialities. Any Hamlet may be understood as the space in which Shakespeare’s thoughts are remembered, as a reproduced copy of the unspecified, unidentified source, the so called original. Simultaneously, it may be conceived of as the space where Shakespeare’s legacy and authority is tested, trifled and transgressed. Nowadays Shakespeare’s dramas are disseminated in multifarious forms such as: printed materials, audio and video recordings, compact audio discs, digital videos and disc recordings. Since I am fond of the cultural phenomenon called Hamlet, not a singe text or performance, but a continuum of human interaction with intermediated and transcoded versions of the drama, in this article I focus on the abovementioned single play. I accentuate the title character’s profound meaning in Shakespeare studies and his iconic status in Western culture in different media. I exploit W.B. Worthen’s concept of “Shakespeare 3.0.” to demonstrate Shakespeare’s presence in digital reality on the example of a comic rendering of Hamlet (Tugged Hamlet, 1992) by the Polish cabaret POTEM. Their cabaret sketch, although it was not created for the Internet audience, is available on-line via YouTube, consituting “Shakespeare 3.0.” Furthermore, I pose several questions and attempt to answer them in the course of my analysis: to what extent does the image of a mournful and contemplative Hamlet pervade different dimensions of culture, especially our collective imagination?; what chances of realization has a cultural fantasy of challenging the myth of a witty and contemplative Hamlet when re-written and presented as a pastiche or satire?; was the Polish cabaret POTEM succesful in their comic performance?

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Edyta Lorek-Jezińska

Abstract

The aim of this article is to explore the potential of hauntological theories to explain and problematise selected aspects of authority and performance in the context of Shakespeare’s drama. Referring primarily to Derrida’s and Abraham’s concepts of the ghost and the phantom and their connection to Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the article discusses hauntological perspectives on performance, both deconstructing and reaffirming authority. The paper comments on the relation between text and performance (Brook, Lehmann), memory and repetition (Carlson), disappearance and perpetual present (Phelan), as well as archive and repertoire (Taylor) in order to highlight the contradictory yet productive ways of understanding performance. The final part of the article, focusing on the significance of the ghost figure, examines experimental appropriations of Shakespeare’s play in Walny Theatre’s Hamlet (2015) in the light of postdramatic aesthetics.

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Wanda Świątkowska

Abstract

The article presents political interpretations of Hamlet in Poland in the turbulent period of politcal changes between the mid-1950s and mid-1960s. The author discusses the relationships between Shakespeare’s tragedy and Polish political context as well as the influence of audience expectations in the specific interpretations. The selected performances are: Hamlet by Roman Zawistowski (at the Old Theatre in Cracow 1956) and Hamlet Study by Jerzy Grotowski (at the Laboratory Theatre of 13 Rows in Opole 1964). They both were hugely influenced by major commentators of Hamlet, i.e. Stanisław Wyspiański and Jan Kott. The author argues that up-to-date readings of Hamlet, which started with Wyspiański’s study in 1905, flourished in the mid-1950s and mid-1960s when concerning specific political events: the Polish Thaw of 1956 and March 1968, when the Jews were expelled from Poland. Thus Hamlet of that time was updated and must be seen through the prism of political events.

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Jacek Mydla

Abstract

On the basis of Roman Ingarden’s conceptions of indeterminacy and concretization and the notion of spoken action, Jacek Mydla constructs the idea of textual authority in Shakespeare’s drama. The text is regarded as the primary source of meaning which determines theatrical representation. When reading a play actively, the reader fills out areas of indeterminacy in an attempt to build a faithful imaginary representation of the action. The thus reconstructed social mimesis can then be transferred onto the stage. Mydla argues for the precedence of textual over theatrical concretizations of Shakespeare.

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Laura Estill

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Krystyna Kujawińska Courtney

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Magdalena Cieślak

Abstract

Grzegorz Wiśniewski’s 2012 Richard III in Teatr Jaracza in Łódź was a very successful production with critics and audiences alike. At the 2012 Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival it won the Golden Yorick, a prestigious Polish award for the best staging of a Shakespearean play in the season. Wiśniewski, a renown Polish theatre director and professor at the National Film School in Łódź, has his own way of understanding theatre, its role in culture, and Shakespeare’s place in it. Wiśniewski believes in the theatre of the middle path, as he calls it, that is neither classical/conservative, nor radically avantgarde. He wants to attract wide audiences and offer them intellectual and well-balanced cultural entertainment. Without diminishing the weight of such cultural and literary icons as Shakespeare, he vivisects texts to make productions that can easily speak to a contemporary audience. This paper analyzes Wiśniewski’s Richard III to show how the director manages to achieve balance between his own auteur power, the authority and complexity of Shakespeare’s text, and theatre’s cultural mission.

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Krystyna Kujawińska Courtney