Close this search box.


„Amza Pellea” Hall

Collaborating actors

Flavia Hojda
Alex Stoicescu
Darko Huruială
Mihnea Presură


Text Translation: George VOLCEANOV

Artistic direction and stage adaptation: Declan DONNELLAN

Set Design: Nick ORMEROD

Assistant Director: Laurențiu TUDOR

Set Design assistant: Adelina GALICEANU

Music: Tibor CÁRI

Stage Combat - Fencing: Antonie MIHAIL

Sound: George UDREA, Dan FENEȘAN

Lights: Dodu ISPAS, Marian TUDORACHE, Alina MITRACHE

Technical direction: Cristian Norel PETEC / Sorin GRUIA

Prompter: Adrian ȚÎRCĂ

Producer: Claudia GORUN

Poster graphics: Denisa NEAȚU

Cast:: Hamlet (Vlad Udrescu), Claudius (Claudiu Mihail), Gertrude (Ramona Drăgulescu), Ofelia (Flavia Hojda, Theodora Bălan), Polonius (Raluca Păun), Laertes (Alex Stoicescu), Phantom (Eugen Titu), Rosencrantz (Cătălin Vieru ), Guildenstern (Darko Huruială), Undertaker 1/Third actor in the play (Marian Politic), King in the play/Priest (Angel Rababoc), Queen in the play/Undertaker 2 (Costinela Ungureanu), Guard 1 (Mircea Mogoșeanu), Guard 2 (Mihnea Presura)

Premiere date: February 22, 23, 24, 2024

Spectacol duration: 120 minute

It is overlooked that Shakespeare turned four of the most boring words in the English language into the most famous line in world theatre, "To be or not to be". How can something so abstract resonate across so many cultures and eras? Some say the answer is simple: "to be!" Rather than asking questions about existence which are unanswerable, we should simply embrace life, and put one foot in front of another.

The question continues to haunt many, myself included. Its importance lies in the unknown 'why'. This question has haunted philosophers since long before Socrates. Some ask the question, while others argue that since there is no answer, there is no point in asking.

Sometimes we do senseless things, truly terrible things for no apparent reason or benefit. And we run round in despair asking "Why?! Why?!" Human beings are the only animal that can be irrationally cruel. Human beings are the only animals that can perform spectacular acts of violence both on themselves and on other people.

Perhaps this is connected to the fact that humans are the only animals that can doubt their own existence. Sometimes humans may do wonderful or dreadful things just to prove we are here.

Hamlet's dilemma embodies this struggle. But not directly, enigmatically, like a ghost around the dark corridors of Elsinore.

Declan Donnellan


”Declan Donnellan knows some essential secret to making theatre alive. If you watch his new Hamlet born at the National Theatre of Craiova meticulously with the eyes of an inspector , you will only shrug your shoulders. The show doesn’t give you an answer to any of the” eternal” questions, it doesn’t present you with a concept, it is not proving to be “requisite” or “topical” in “these tragic times”…So why is it that all you want is to do is to rush back to watch it again as soon as you can. Craiova has a phenomenal company of actors that makes you want to stay for the entire month and see them in every show of the repertoire.

It is not about power, revenge and not even about blood. It is about fate, a stream of events that cannot be controlled by people. And famous lines become meaningless. “To be or not to be”. Hamlet says it at the very beginning of the show and all the characters applaud. The finale is done in silence.

Horatio, one of the main characters, is completely cut. “What have you done to Horatio?” – I had to ask the director after the show. He waved me off with “The audience is Horatio”. Horatio is the witness to the story, and the characters in the play keep asking the audience for their silent support. What can we do if this is how it has been directed? We must pass the story on. And we do so with delight.”

Roman Dolzhansky, theatre historian and critic, graduate of the theatre history department at GITIS. He worked as editor of the Moscow Observer and theatre critic for Kommersant.


"... a prince who is no longer a prince and who carries his noble nobility on his shoulders, a stranger in his own world, in his own self, in his own mind, in his own story, this is how the famous director Declan Donnellan, who works for the second time with the band from Craiova, after "Oedip", last year. "Hamlet," in his view, retains only essential cues from Shakespeare's text and, in less than two hours, extracts the essence of a story that has been told thousands upon thousands of ways. Today, now, here, the director chooses to talk about a Hamlet of this generation. It's nothing "updated" and it doesn't even talk on the cell phone. But Vlad Udrescu is a Hamlet of his generation. He's angry, he's fragile, he's tormented, he doesn't know who he is, he's depressed, terribly depressed, he's empty, he's lonely, he's sad, he's meaningless, he feels betrayed by his mother, by his friends, by his girlfriend, he's without an anchor , and the father is dead. The whole abyss of this non-universe can be found in Vlad Udrescu's eyes, in his gestures, in the desperation and nausea with which he searches for the truth, a truth he only needs to find a lever, something to cling to. A craziness with red lipstick and women's shoes, as a disguise, as an acceptance, as a search not so much for a sexual identity as for a new self, for something to complete him, to be him and be him enough."
Monica Andronescu, Un Hamlet cu ruj roșu, Artitudini, 12 martie, 2024

The performance leaves a strong sensation of performative reading due to the essentialization of both the text and the dramatic mechanism. The direction is precise and unobtrusive, orchestrating a process of deciphering the text as a demonstration for the audience. (...) The story seems to be rather told than played, as if Hamlet himself wants to understand it and does so by explaining it to the audience. (...) the ideas of the performance are not in any way overstated, but naturally result from the juxtaposition of the stage adaptation with the set design, costumes, and props.
Oana Stoica, The Stiletto heels of Prince HamletDilema, March 13, 2024

Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod (...) have performed incredibly delicate surgical interventions, simplifying the narrative threads, actions, and motivations of each character to a clarity almost like crystal. (...) have exceptional attention to detail (especially visible due to the audience placement) - the superb composition created by Raluca Păun as Polonius includes the traditional male gesture of undoing the last button of his jacket when he sits down. Then, driven mad by her father's death, Ophelia (double role, Flavia Hojda and Theodora Bălan) returns to the stage wearing what appears to be the jacket of the slain Polonius. (...) The Hamlet at the National Theatre in Craiova is one brought down from the pedestal, which wants to show, not to prove, to convince rationally, not to explore interpretative depths of a text over which centuries of hermeneutics have already passed. A performance that offers some actors particularly generous roles, and to the audience, almost a rediscovery of Shakespeare.
Iulia Popovici, Shakespeare in black and white, Observator cultural, March 15, 2024

Shakespeare in black and white

Photo gallery


This show is currently not playing.