by William Shakespeare

Direction Barbara Frey / Set Designer Bettina Meyer / Costume Designer Esther Geremus / Sound Barbara Frey, Iñigo Giner Miranda / Fechtchoreographie Klaus Figge
Cast Markus Scheumann, Inga Busch, Jan Bülow, Gottfried Breitfuss, Edmund Telgenkämper, Benito Bause, Claudius Körber

Claudius, König von Dänemark / Der Geist von Hamlets Vater Markus Scheumann
Gertrud, Königin von Dänemark Inga Busch
Hamlet, Prinz von Dänemark Jan Bülow
Polonius, Oberkämmerer / Marcellus, Offizier / Totengräber Gottfried Breitfuss
Horatio, Freund von Hamlet / Rosenkranz Edmund Telgenkämper
Laertes, Sohn von Polonius / Güldenstern / Bernardo, Offizier Benito Bause
Ophelia, Tochter von Polonius / Francisco, ein Soldat / Ein Schauspieler / Totengräber Claudius Körber
Live-Musik Iñigo Giner Miranda
Direction Barbara Frey
Set Designer Bettina Meyer
Costume Designer Esther Geremus
Sound Barbara Frey, Iñigo Giner Miranda
Dramaturg Andreas Karlaganis
Fechtchoreographie Klaus Figge
Assistant Director Maximilian Enderle
Assistant Stage Designer Selina Puorger
Assistant Costume Designer Tiziana Ramsauer
Prompter Gabriele Seifert
Stage Manager Aleksandar Sascha Dinevski
Claudius has murdered his brother, the king, in his sleep, in order to ascend the throne and marry the queen. However, the ghost of the murdered warrior appears to his son and rightful heir, reveals the crime and urges him to seek revenge. Young Hamlet is in despair at the idea of setting this world, which is out of joint, to rights. He has “taken a profound look into the essence of things,” and it sickens him to be forced to act. Ultimately, he stages a play in which a king is murdered and the murderer marries the queen. Although King Claudius’s reaction exposes his guilt, Hamlet’s artistic evidence fails to bring justice: the terrible truth initiates an ineluctable cycle of death. This is the sixth time that Barbara Frey has explored Shakespeare’s oeuvre. Previous productions include her radical interpretation of “The Tempest” and, at the beginning of her career as a director, the musical piece “I Want To Talk Like Lovers Do,” which was based on Shakespeare’s sonnets. Her most recent Shakespeare production was of “Richard III.”


“Barbara Frey indeed launched her last season as Director of the Schauspielhaus Zürich on Thursday with a spectacular – understatement. A mellow evening of Shakespeare, appropriately shortened to two-and-a-half hours. [...] At the same time, this resolutely quiet, ritardando  production is also a vociferous, prickly manifesto: an affirmation of the aesthetic that Frey has now cultivated in her work at the Schauspielhaus for the best part of a decade.” Tages-Anzeiger

“It’s half fun, half audaciously serious. But then – the perfect joy of a theatrical moment – the mind embraces man, and son and father dance together through the wafting mists of melancholy. That moment is so beautiful that it makes one want to cross oneself. It isn’t the only magical, jaw-dropping scene in this great evening of Shakespeare during which blue flowers wander through the brain.” NZZ am Sonntag

“It’s a fencing match, virtuoso and precise, that is protracted over five painful bouts and dominates the stage with its physical strength and vigour. In this interminable labyrinth of combat, it is as authentic, vital and liberating as it could possibly be. A magnificently classical climax that surpasses even itself.” nachtkritik.de

“The fact that the ghost of Hamlet’s murdered father should be played by Markus Scheumann, who also plays his murderer, King Claudius, is not only coherent: it is brilliant. And it is even more brilliant because Scheumann seamlessly incorporates this double-faced quality not only in his appearances as a power-hungry politician, but also in his performance as a stone-dead projection for Hamlet.” Tages-Anzeiger

Staging insight, 4 September, meeting point at Schiffbau/Foyer, 7.00–8.30 p.m.

“Talk About Theatre” on “Hamlet” and “King A”, 25 September, meeting point at Schiffbau/Foyer, 7.00–8.30 p.m.

Backstage pass for organisers of English-speaking leisure activities, 26 September, Pfauen, 6.00 p.m.


Fr , 28 Jun 20:00 22:15 Tickets Last performance / um 19:15: Auf Wiedersehen mit Barbara Frey / Ein Rückblick 2009–2019 / Carte Blanche

Supported by Swiss Re

  • Stadt Zurich
  • Swiss Re
  • Zürcher Kantonalbank
  • Migros