Breathing Hamlet

25 Apr

Jacek Król

“I’m breathing Hamlet!”, I shouted out to my friends while trying to capture the amazing emotions presented on stage by Jacek Król. Later, after the performance, I had a chance to talk to Jacek. I wanted to know his story: how his adventure with “Hamlet” started, how he managed such a difficult and demanding role, and if all of the emotions are shown by him as a result of his own understanding of the play, or maybe it’s the text that imposes certain emotions. His Hamlet experience started simply – he was offered to play the part; and it was an offer that he just couldn’t turn down (is there someone who wouldn’t want to play Hamlet?). The whole process of creation, so much work and effort put into it – it was these things that were making the role more and more extraordinary. An interesting fact: in this particular play (starring Jacek Król), there was no King of Denmark – the recently deceased father of Hamlet. There was no actor playing this part, the King was presented as a voice inside his son’s head. And so Hamlet was all alone during this difficult time,  when he was thinking about his mother, wondering if she loves him; trying to cope with his father’s death, haunted by the King’s ghost. He was alone, struggling, being obsessed with poisonous thoughts. And that’s the reason why Jacek decided to show so many, and such strong, emotions. “Hamlet can be shown as an intellectual, clinical, cold-hearted”, said Jacek in answer to my question about emotions. But he decided to show the war of thoughts in Hamlet’s head. “It’s a hard decision, Hamlet can fight for the throne, but he could just as well close himself in a library and just keep reading books”. That might have been an option. But Hamlet chose to fight.
Jacek’s acting enchanted me to such an extent that I was just standing in front of the stage, observing him and waiting for the new emotion to occur on his face. And even though the text presented by him was quite vulgar (translated by Jerzy Sito), it made the performance even more emotional.This text combined with Jacek’s acting created a wonderful image of Hamlet: lost and bitter. Just the way he is in my imagination.

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