All pictures © Serafino Amato

King Hamlet is not dead. Hamlet craves power. Gertrude feels that everything eludes her. Claudius does not wish to poison his brother. Polonius waits for things to turn to his own advantage.

Mafia dynamics have taken control of Hamlet’s characters. The King, who is still alive, looks sick and is in charge like Provenzano, like a Mafia boss, the truly big “company” that Italy has exported worldwide. Shakespeare’s characters are captured in private before the tragedy starts. And, they are different. Before vengeance, before violence, when things can still be mended.

King Hamlet is ill: he has no memory. He cannot remember anything, neither who his wife is, who his son Hamlet is, nor what his brother Claudius looks like. He cannot remember anything yet he still commands, he still holds the power of life and death over everyone. The continuous loss of memory produces a kind of endearment and a great comic impact within the King’s character that represent the key elements of the play, accompanied by the presence of Polonius, a fearful councillor, who is always uncertain yet ready, in any case to “rush to help the winners”, just as many figures here in Italy. To provide an insight into what could happen before Hamlet means to attempt to discover plots and motivations that are simply left to the spectator’s imagination in the Shakespearean play. The feeling is that this very story has become the model that has inspired mankind, and which has been successfully repeated in everyday life; a story that would not happen if it had not been inspired by the word “revenge”.

In Preamleto (Pre-Hamlet) Michele Santeramo, starting from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, tells of what happens before King Hamlet’s death, by providing a contemporary reinterpretation of the analysis of the concept of power. “This is what power is for: to continue to command.” But, perhaps, things cannot be mended.

Santeramo and Cruciani update Shakespeare’s work without betraying it,

albeit modifying it completely.




By Michele Santeramo

Director | Veronica Cruciani

Set and Costume Designer | Barbara Bessi

Light Designer | Gianni Staropoli

Music | Paolo Coletta

Cast | Massimo Foschi, Manuela Mandracchia,

Michele Sinisi, Gianni D’Addario and Matteo Sintucci

Opened in summer 2015

at the Napoli Film Festival, Italy

Performances at the Teatro Argentina, Teatro di Roma, Italy 30 March10 April 2016

A Teatro di Roma production


Michele Santeramo | Veronica Cruciani

30 March - 10 April, 2016

Teatro Argentina
Teatro di Roma
More info