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Hamletmachine 2

009 / 16 April 2016


Zoukak Theatre Company

Hamletmachine 2 (2009)

37 mins 02 secs


Hamletmachine 2 (2010) emerged from a need to continue the research that Zoukak started in 2008 on Heiner Muller's 1977 piece, Hamletmachine. The piece explores the features of contemporary tragedy that murmur to us from beneath the ruins of inherited ideologies that continue to burden us and seep into our bones. Our attempt was to explore the non-linearity of the narration through the action in the text's treatment. We revisited the work in a form that references the non-narrative writing that Muller's deconstructed text proposes. With that, we continue to question the value of the performer's position and action on stage when confronting the realities of failures and loss. In this new round of research we were able to draw a clearer line of the story's development lurking behind the hidden linguistic twists that fill the condensed nine pages of the contemporary tragedy that Muller wrote over the course of more than 20 years, during the period when the capitalist/communist conflict was at its peak.  


Now, in 2009, the threads of the narrative, which we were able to gather on the dramaturgical level of our research on the text, clarified the foundation on which last year's work was based. When we started the research, in 2008, we considered the role of the actor on stage under the burden of the history that one inherits, representing the ruins of revolutions and dreams based on the ruins of power structures and ideologies thrown out by the sea to our shores. Here, the performer of Hamlet is burdened with the history of collapses, failures and depressions  after each war he carries his body and faces his dispersed self in the roles he performs onstage. His position is his revolution, even if it is a damaged revolution or a 'petrification of a hope', is still one of undeniable privilege.  


The work, considered as an attempt to touch upon the traits of the contemporary theatrical tragedy, does not imitate the human being's existential crisis from the angle of the classical metaphysical fatality, but the human being's crisis in a present charged with disasters inherited from a politicized, disfigured past. It is the tragedy of history, or the tragedy of history's present. The position of the performer with regards to that tragedy whose characters he/she plays on stage becomes a stand by these characters, by theatre and its audience. 



Text: Heiner Muller 

Director/set designer: Omar Abi Azar 

Dramaturgy: Zoukak Company

Assistant Director: Sandy Shamoun 

Light designer/set designer: Kobayashi 

Performers: Lamia Abi Azar, Hashem Adnan, Danya Hammoud, Junaid Sarieddeen, Maya Zbib 


A Zoukak production funded by AFAC 

Hamletmachine 2 was presented in September 2010 at the Sunflower Theatre, Beirut and in January 2012 at Carthage International Theatre Festival, Tunisia.

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