Princess Hamlet is a play by E.L. Karhu (formerly Emilia Pöyhönen), where insanity is examined from various perspectives. This overwrite of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet serves as an ambiguous independent work. The play explores Princess Hamlet, her best friend Horatio, and her mother Gertrude in their journey through insanity and its complexity. Truth and untruth, love and power form a cartoon-like structure that moulds Princess Hamlet into a poetic and avant-gardist text.
The play poses the question, what happens when the worst has already happened? What does life seem like after life is lost? Can you live on after loss?
Princess Hamlet examines how a woman can break free from prejudices. Can a woman do something great and still survive? All this is crystallized into three words: DO NOT FORGET.
“We remember those princesses who kill themselves, who leave / on time, / forcefully, / go down in flames. / The rest /they are nothing but women / who weren’t capable of living / no one remembers them, they are / erased by wind and sand from the pages of history until no trace remains. / This will not happen to me.”
Roles: Women 3, men 5.
When it’s my twenty-ninth birthday, there will be a great celebration.
PRINCESS HAMLET LIGHTS A TORCH, IT THROWS SPARKS INTO THE NIGHT.
When the day of my celebration arrives, I will dress beautifully.
There will be carnivals, rejoicing everywhere, fireworks, parades, it will be day of great joy.
the sun has set and the sea starts to settle down for the night
I will come here to this rock.
I will light myself into a beacon that will be visible to the ends of the realm.
I will burn, a torch, and
all will see it and say:
The fire cleanses me, and I am new, and my terrors, fears, and agonies all vanish.
English translation of the play by Kristian London
“The play refers to Shakespeare’s big topics of truth, love, betrayal and power but is at the same time a completely independent work of its own – daring and fresh and powerful. Central for me stands the topic of lunacy that leads to total exhaustion and the question of what happens to the individual that refuses to function within the logic that society has to offer.”
Katja Herlemann, dramaturge