Trans Hamlet Formation -from the Favela into the World- (Programme 2015)

Cia Completa Mente Solta, Rio de Janeiro

Trans Hamlet Formation -from the Favela into the World-
Photo: Nico Oved
Trans Hamlet Formation -from the Favela into the World-
Photo: Nico Oved


  • Thursday, June 4, 2015, 20:00h


Director: Márcio Januário

Production: Leonardo Florentino

Starring: Felipe Paiva, Hugo Germano, Márcio Januário, Matheus Costa, Yorran de Paula

Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes

Prices: B

Admission 45 minutes before the beginning of the performance

The Compania Complete Mente Solta (English: “the spirit set free“) from Rio de Janeiro has been developing Shakespeare writings for several years now and connects the characters with the daily life of young people in the favelas in Rio. In his new project, “Trans Hamlet Formation“, the director of the company and the play, Márcio Januário, wants to portray Hamlet's story in a Latin-American context.

By inviting the Compania Completa Mente Solta, Shakespeare Festival in Globe Neuss once again wants to emphasize Shakespeare's ubiquity and worldwide transcultural significance. His cosmos of works serves as an enthrallment and drive for creative endeavours everywhere. This explains how a classical text can be transformed into a novelty, even in a distant city like Rio:

„In our production Gertrude (Hamlet's mother) represents Latin America, Hamlet's Claudius stands for corruption and drug trafficking, the elder Hamlet is our country and Prince Hamlet is all of us, pretending we are mad in order to expose the cause of so much violence, so many betrayals and death.“ (Márcio Januário)

German Premiere

In Portuguese with English surtitles

Scene sequence available in German

Plot Summary

The action takes place in the kingdom of Elsinore, Denmark and at a fringe community at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The action also takes place at a rehearsal room where five actors are working on an assembly of Hamlet, the William Shakespeare classic. In Elsinore, prince Hamlet deals with the recent death of his father, king Hamlet, and the fact that Gertrude, his mother, is marrying his uncle, the king's brother Claudius. In Rio, the people in the favela are dealing with everyday issues, such as drug trafficking, urban violence, sexism and the distance created by social classes among people who live so close from each other. In the rehearsal room, the actors are critically discussing the characters and situations of the play and making connections among them and their life in Rio.

Advised by what appears to be the ghost of his father but may also be a sign of his supposed madness, prince Hamlet plays dangerously with the court of Elsinore with the goal of avenging the king's death, which he believes is to blame on a plan concocted by Claudius and Gertrude. In the trail of his vacillating revenge, Hamlet harasses his mother and the young Ophelia (who's in love with him) and casts death on many people from the Elsinore court. In the rehearsal room in Rio, the actors question prince Hamlet's heroism and the positions of the main characters in the play. They reflect upon staging it or not. But they reach the conclusion that they can do Hamlet in their own way. And if they don't, when will black people in Brazil have the chance of playing protagonists? They cannot accept a present where so much violence and death is such a common thing in the life of black and poor people. They have to do something about it. They have to stage this play.