Jiří Stránský

Cast: 5 men, 2 women

The action of Claudius and Gertrud takes place just before Shakespeare´s Hamlet starts. But it´s dealing skilfully and playfully with the facts and action taken from the famous play. Besides Hamlet it takes its inspiration both from old chronicles and from Updike´s novel, Gertrude and Claudius. Having discovered the adulterous relationship between his wife and his brother Claudius, Hamlet the Older has to die. But Stransky´s Claudius does not have a desire for power or throne; on the contrary, he has a deep understanding with his gloomy nephew Hamlet: both are linked by their aversion to the limited horizons of Denmark and love to studies and free life. Hamlet doesn´t want to become a king, he is afraid of obligations tied to the office; that´s why he himself proposes Claudius for King. At the same time, there are first signs of a future tragedy: the young Laertes doesn´t consent to Hamlet´s having a relationship with his sister Ophelia: he knows the prince as a light-headed philanderer. Hamlet seems to be shocked by the up-and-coming wedding of his mother to his uncle. There are clouds gathering over the Elsinore castle, the tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark can start... Jiři Stransky and Jakub Špalek wrote their variation on Hamlet in a lively, contemporary language. They reconsider the well-known features of the play from a new perspective while stressing the extraordinary similarity between Claudius and Hamlet as we find it in nucleus in Shakespeare´s tragedy.

  The play is available in Czech original.