Debutto: Roma, Teatro Valle, 28 novembre 1952

Translation Luigi Squarzina
Direction  Luigi Squarzina e Vittorio Gassman
Set and costume Mario Chiari
Music Giuseppe Piccioli
Production Teatro D’Arte Italiano
diretto da Vittorio Gassman e Luigi Squarzina

Characters and performers

Claudio, new king of Denmark Mario Feliciani
Hamlet, son of the late king and nephew of the ruler Vittorio Gassman
Gertrude, Queen of Denmark and mother of Hamlet Elena Zareschi
Polonius, high dignitary Gianni Cavalieri
Ofelia, daughter of Polonius Anna Proclemer
Fortebraccio, prince of Norway Andrea Bosic
Laerte, son of Polonius Luigi Vannucchi
Horace,  friend of Hamlet Carlo d’Angelo
Voltimando, ambassador in Norway Stefano Varriale
Cornelio, courtier Nerio Stucchi
Rosencrantz, courtier cortigiano Jacopo Tecchio
Guildenstern, cortigiano Marcello Bertini
Osrico, courtier cortigiano Mico Cundari
Marcello, Danish official  ufficiale danese Sergio Fantoni
Francesco, a soldier on guard Carlo Goni
Bernard, a soldier on guard Giovanni Conforti
Reginaldo, servant of Polonius Cesare Tiani
A Norwegian captain Nino Conti
First actor Lucio Ardenzi
Second actor Franco Pastorino
Third actor Giancarlo Gonfiantini
First gravedigger Ferruccio Stagni
Second gravedigger Franco Pastorino
A priest Stefano Varriale
A messenger Renato Mori

This was the first performance at Teatro d’Arte Italiano, founded and directed by Luigi Squarzina and Vittorio Gassman. The text was translated and staged by Squarzina, in its unabridged version for the first time in Italy. The show included copious Director’s Notes recounting the critical reflection and invention underlying the production. The point of the operation was thus clarified by Squarzina himself: “To restore integrity to tragedy: breaking from a centuries-old use of mutilations or misinterpreted divulgations, the text had to emerge not only in its vastness, but in its language, in its natural habitat, in its rhythm, in its structure, so that character, released from Romantic and Post-romantic clichés, could rediscover its coherent function as the mirror of a crisis-stricken age”. The production authoritatively stated the concept of direction, in a show that qualified as actor theatre. Squarzina framed the production within the staging rules of Elizabethan theatre, retracing the author’s thinking and the historical context. The show sparked the unbridled enthusiasm of its audiences, which attended every evening in numbers greater than those at the Eliseo theatre for its rival show, Chekhov’s Three Sisters, staged by Luchino Visconti.