Resisting the Revolution: Heiner Müller's Hamlet/Machine at the Deutsches Theater, Berlin, March 1990

Barnett, David (2006) Resisting the Revolution: Heiner Müller's Hamlet/Machine at the Deutsches Theater, Berlin, March 1990. Theatre Research International, 31 (2). pp. 188-200. ISSN 0307-8833

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Abstract

Heiner Muller directed Shakespeare's Hamlet together with his own The Hamletmachine as Hamlet/Machine in March 1990 at the Deutsches Theater, East Berlin. This article investigates the production's conception, its rehearsal and its execution against the backdrop of the fall of the Wall. Midler, a playwright whose dramaturgies actively resist reductive interpretation, sought to put Hamlet/Machine beyond the reach of an allegorical reading. Strategies in acting, staging and design were adopted to frustrate the ease with which Hamlet could have merely illustrated the historical changes taking place outside the theatre. On the other hand, Muller was also making theatre for his fellow GDR citizens and had to take account of their experiences, too. His political theatre relied on the combination of contradictory signs in performance that would activate the audience, forcing a confrontation with the material on stage on its own terms. Such an aspiration was, almost inevitably, revealed as utopian but was in Muller's view the only way for the theatre to challenge its immediate historical context.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Depositing User: David Barnett
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:20
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2012 11:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30845
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