The Hamlet Syndrome

Piotr Rosolowski & Elwira Niewiera / & / 2022

One of last year's great festival successes is an eminently observed psychological drama from a small theatre in Ukraine, where a group of untrained actors come together to interpret scenes from Shakespeare and heal their inner wounds.

A few months before Russia’s invasion, a group of young people gather on the boards to rehearse a play that interweaves Shakespeare’s tragedy of Hamlet with the actors’ own turbulent reality in a country that has been under attack since 2014. And like Hamlet, Jaroslav, Kateryna, Rodion, Oksana and Roman are also grappling with their own traumas and existential questions. From war experiences on the frontline in Donbas to a conservative society’s rejection of one’s sexuality. But on stage, their inner lives can find outlet in a healing process that offers some unexpected breakthroughs until the Russian invasion.