. . . what would you regard as a central issue in your recent texts?
How should I know, and if I knew why should I tell you?
(Carl Weber ‘Interview: 19 Answers by Heiner Muller’ in Weber ed. Hamletmachine and other texts for the stage p. 139)
Mary Poppins Tickets Wicked Tickets Tarzan Tickets Cirque du Soleil Tickets
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2005 total directing & total acting + CHE'05 : cast and crew @ groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwilde *
* March 2006: Go.dot -- 100 years since Sam Beckett's birth * Theatre UAF
Featured Pages: direct.vtheatre.net/3 2007 finals
Second, Biomechanics could work both as a style and a method: the mechanical aspect.
Most likely I would direct it as our new "composition" under the first title "Shakespeare Factory"...
SummaryWhen in Hamletmachine the actor playing Hamlet enacts the Tearing of the author’s photograph, he might be doing many things at once. Eliminating the author from the play; killing him off; disavowing the idea of the performance text. The irony is that the author himself, Heiner Muller, anticipates his own death of the author.
The text itself seems to have no author. It is largely composed of other people’s writings and so is more collage than original script. It has been described in terms of tissues of text, fragments that already exist. Bits of Shakespeare, bits of popular slang, bits of English, bits of newspaper reports, quotations from court documents, characters from novels, surrealist fragments and advertising slogans.
QuestionsMuller and Godot (2006) -- Voices in One Head (mindscape)
NotesHamletDreams + webshow (not updated)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
3.26.07 -- HM in directing class (analysis, concept)
... sound and image
text and silence (movement)
Staging PoMo : transition from Beckett's Catastrophe
PM Spectator -- ?
... New World Performance Laboratory : "Dont be concerned with narrative. View the performance as a poem in action, as a piece of music embodied."
NYT By MEL GUSSOW * Published: May 25, 1986
Hamlet - Machine and Other Texts for the Stage (PAJ Playscripts) (Paperback) by Heiner Muller (Author), Carl Weber (Editor, Translator) 978-0933826458
University of Gerogia & 7 Stages presents:
Hamletmachine -- Dramaturgy Note :
While Heiner Müller's script is only approximately eight pages in length, it is perhaps one of the richest texts in the history of theater. Written over a period of three decades, it is influenced heavily by Müller’s geo-political background, the death of his wife, Inge, and of course, the impetus for the text, Shakespeare’s Hamlet. However, Müller infuses his text with references and ideas from individuals including Walter Benjamin, Boris Pasternak, Randall Jarrell, Dostoyevsky, Joseph Conrad, T.S. Eliot, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Touching on a multiplicity of themes from questions of gender to concerns about the relationship of man and nature, to the destructive and redemptive powers of technology, the text of Hamletmachine is meant to act as a framework for the cast and crew to highlight what they feel are the most relevant of those issues.
[ Directing class assignment 2007 ]...
All my previous productions, visuals (self-quotes).
Screens. How many?
Maybe in several languages?
[ the text is not proofread ]
[ images ]
[ video ]
Rex05 (Oedipus) + HamletDreams
@2000-2004 thr w/anatoly *
Heiner Mueller, 1979
Translation: Dennis Redmond © 2001
Translation notes: Mueller’s original text quotes a number of English words and phrases. These are outlined below by rectangles, rather than an alternate font or italics, so as notto disrupt Mueller’s deliberate use of capital letters and spacing.1
I was Hamlet. I stood on the coast and spoke with the surf BLABLA at my back the ruinsof Europe. The bells sounded in the state funeral, murderer and widow a pair, the towncouncilors in goose-step behind the coffin of the High Cadaver, wailing in badly-paidgrief WHO IS THE CORPSE IN THE MEAT-WAGON’S STY / FOR WHOM ISTHERE SUCH A HUE AND CRY? / THE CORPSE IS OF A GREAT / GIVER OFESTATE The pillar of the population, work of his statecraft HE WAS A MAN WHOONLY TOOK ALL FROM ALL. I stopped the corpse-train, sprang the coffin with mysword, broke it to the hilt, succeeded with the blunt remains, and distributed the deadprogenitor FLESH ENJOINS HAP’LY FLESH to the surrounding faces of misery. Griefgave way to joy, joy into munching, on the empty coffin the murderer mounted thewidow SHOULD I HELP YOU UP UNCLE OPEN THE LEGS MAMA. I lay on theground and heard the world revolving step by step into putrefaction.I’M GOOD HAMLET GI’ME A CAUSE FOR GRIEF AH THE WHOLE GLOBE FOR A REAL SORROW RICHARD THE THIRD I THE PRINCE KILLING KING OH MY PEOPLE WHAT HAVE I DONE UNTO THEE LIKE A HUNCHBACK I DRAG MY OVERBRAIN SECOND CLOWN IN THE SPRING OF COMMUNISM SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN THIS AGE OF HOPE LET’S DELVE IN EARTH AND BLOW HER AT THE MOONNow comes the specter who made me, the axe still in the skull. You can keep your haton, I know, that you have one hole too many. I only wish my mother had one too fewer,when you were yet in your flesh: I would have been spared myself. One should sew thewenches shut, a world without mothers. We could slaughter one another in peace, andwith some consideration, if we wearied of this world or if our necks were too narrow forour cries. What do you want from me. Is one state funeral not enough for you. Senile oldfool. Don’t you have any blood on your shoes. What’s your corpse to me, anyway. Justbe happy that the executioner is delayed, maybe you’ll still make it into Heaven. Why areyou still here. The hens have been slaughtered. Tomorrow has been cancelled.SHOULD I BECAUSE IT’S EXPECTED STICK A PIECE OF IRON INTO THE NEAREST FLESH OR THE NEXT-NEAREST HOLDING ME FAST BECAUSE THE WORLD SPINS AROUND LORD BREAK MY NECK FALLING FROM A BEERHALLBENCH
Enter Horatio. Co-conspirator of my thoughts, which are full of blood since the morningwas draped with the empty sky. YOU COME TOO LATE MY FRIEND FOR YOURWAGE / NO PLACE FOR YOU IN MY TRAGEDY-PLAY. Horatio, do you know mestill. Are you my friend, Horatio. If you know me, how can you be my friend. Do you want to play Polonius, who wants to sleep with his daughter, the alluring Ophelia, she’sabout to get her cue, see how she shakes her rump – a tragic role. HoratioPolonius. I knew that you’re an actor. I’m one too, I play Hamlet. Denmark is a concentration camp,between us grows a Wall. See what grows from the Wall. Exit Polonius. My mother thebride. Her breasts a bed of roses, her lap a nest of snakes. Have you forgotten your text,Mama. I stage-whisper WASH THE MURDER FROM THY FACE MY PRINCE / ANDMAKE A CHEERFUL FACE FOR THE NEW DENMARK. I’ll make you into a virginagain Mother so that the King has a bloody wedding THE MOTHER’S LAP IS NOONE-WAY STREET Now I tie your hands behind your back with the bridal trainbecause I loathe your embrace. Now I tear apart the bridal gown. Now you must scream. Now I smear the rags of your dress into the earth which my father has become with therags your face your belly your breasts. Now I take thee my mother in his, my father’sinvisible trace. I strangle your cry with my lips. Do you recognize the fruit of your fleshnow go, go to your wedding, whore, broad in the Danish sun shining on the living and thedead. I want to stuff the corpse in the drainhole so the palace drowns in kingly shit. Then let me eat your heart, Ophelia, which sheds my tears.
THE EUROPE OF THE WOMAN
Enormous room. Ophelia. Her heart is a clock.
I am Ophelia. She who the river could not hold. The woman on the gallows The womanwith the slashed arteries The woman with the overdose ON THE LIPS SNOW Thewoman with the head in the gas-oven. Yesterday I stopped killing myself. I am alonewith my breasts my thighs my lap. I rip apart the instruments of my imprisonment theStool the Table the Bed. I destroy the battlefield that was my Home. I tear the doors offtheir hinges to let the wind and the cry of the World inside. I smash the Window. With my bleeding hands I tear the photographs of the men who I loved and who used me onthe Bed on the Table on the Chair on the Floor. I set fire to my prison. I throw my clothesinto the fire. I dig the clock which was my heart out of my breast. I go onto the street,clothed in my blood.
University of the Dead. Whispers and murmurs. From their gravestones (cathedrals)dead philosophers throw their books at Hamlet. Gallery (ballet) of the dead women Thewoman on the gallows The woman with the slashed wrists etc. Hamlet observes them withthe attitude of a museum(theater)goer. The dead women tear his clothing from his body.From an upright coffin with the inscription HAMLET 1 enters Claudius and, clothed andmade up as a whore, Ophelia. Striptease of Ophelia. OPHELIA Do you still want to eat my heart, Hamlet. Laughs. HAMLET Head in his hands: I want to be a woman. Hamlet puts on Ophelia’s clothes, Ophelia paints a whore’s mask on him, Claudius, nowHamlet’s father, laughs soundlessly, Ophelia offers Hamlet her hand to be kissed andsteps with Claudius/Hamlet Father back into the coffin. Hamlet in pose of a whore. Anangel, the face in the back of the neck: Horatio. Dances with Hamlet. VOICE(S) from the coffin: What you killed you should also love.The dance becomes wilder and wilder. Laughter from the coffin. On a swing a Madonna with breast-cancer. Horatio opens an umbrella, embraces Hamlet. Freeze in the embrace under the umbrella. The breast-cancer shines like a sun.
PEST IN BUDA BATTLE OF GREENLAND Room 2, destroyed by Ophelia. Empty armor, axe in the helm. HAMLET The oven smokes in cheerless October A BAD COLD HE HAD OF IT JUST THE WORST TIME JUST THE WORST TIME OF THE YEAR FOR A REVOLUTION Through the suburbs blooming cement goes Dr. Zhivago in sorrowfor his wolves IN THE WINTER SOMETIMES THEY CAME INTO THE VILLAGE TORE APART A PEASANT puts costume and mask down.
I am not Hamlet. I play no role anymore. My words have nothing more to say to me. Mythoughts suck the blood of images. My drama is cancelled. Behind me the scenery isbeing taken down. By people who are not interested in my drama, for people, to whom itdoesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter to me either. I’m not playing along anymore. Stagehandsinstall, unknown to Hamlet-actor, a refrigerator and three TV sets. Humming of therefrigerator. Three programs without sound. The scenery is a monument. It portrays aman who made history, a hundred times life-size. The petrification of a hope. His name ininterchangeable. The hope has not been fulfilled. The monument lies on the ground, razedthree years after the state funeral of the Hated and Honored One by those who now ruleus. And the stone is inhabited. In the spacious nose and earholes, in the folds of skin anduniform of the shattered icon dwell the poorer population of the metropolis. At the fall ofthe monument followed, after an appropriate time, the Rebellion. My drama, if it couldyet take place, would happen in the Time of the Rebellion. The Rebellion begins as anurban promenade. Against the traffic regulations during working hours. The streetsbelong to the pedestrians. Here and there an auto is overturned. Evil dream of a knife-thrower: the slow journey down a one-way street to an irrevocable parking-spot, which issurrounded by armed pedestrians. Police who get in the way are simply pushed aside.When the procession approaches the district of the rulers, it is brought to a halt by apolice cordon. Groups form, out of which speakers arise. On the balcony of aGovernment building appears a man with a badly fitting suit and starts to speak. Whenthe first stone hits him, he draws back behind the double-doors fitted with bulletproofglass. From the call for more freedom comes the cry for the overthrow of theGovernment. People begin to disarm the police, storming two three buildings, a jail apolice station an office of the secret police, hanging a dozen quislings of the authoritiesby the feet, the Government deploys troops, tanks. My place, if my drama ever tookplace, would be at both sides of the front, between the fronts, over them. I stand in thesweating masses and throw stones at the police soldiers tanks bulletproof glass. I glancethrough the double-door outfitted with bulletproof glass at the oncoming crowd and smellthe perspiration of my fear. I shake, choked with nausea, my fist against myself, standingbehind the bulletproof glass. I see, choked by fear and loathing, myself in the oncomingcrowd, foam licking at my lips, shaking my fist against myself. I hang my uniformed flesh by the feet. I am the soldier in the tank-turret, my head is empty under the helmet,the strangled cry under the chains. I am the typewriter. I tie the noose, when the leadersare hanged, kick the stool away, break my neck I am my own prisoner. I feed my datainto the computer. My roles are spit and spittoon knife and wound teeth and gum neckand gallows. I am the data-bank. Bleeding in the crowd. Exhaling behind the doubledoors. Wordslime bubbling in soundproof speech-balloons over the battle. My drama hasnot taken place. The script was lost. The actors hung their faces on the nails of thegarderobe. The stage-prompter rots in his box. The overstuffed plague-corpses in theaudience don’t move a finger. I go home and kill time, at one / with my undivided self. Television The daily revulsion Disgust at prefabricated babble At manufactured merriment How do you spell FRIENDLINESS Give us our daily murder For Thine is Nothingness Revulsion At the lies which are believedBy the liars and noone else Revulsion At the lies which are believed Revulsion at the faces of the power-brokers lined and seamed from the struggle for posts votes bank-accounts Revulsion A cart of scythes crackling with one-liners I go through the streets malls faces with the scars of the shopping blitz Povertywithout dignity Poverty without the dignity of the knife of the boxing ring of the fist The brutalized bodies of the women Hope of the generations Strangled in blood cowardice stupidity Laughter of dead bellies Heil COCA COLAA kingdom for a murderer
I WAS MACBETH THE KING HAD OFFERED ME HIS THIRD CONCUBINE I KNEW EVERY BIRTHMARK ON HER HIPS RASKOLNIKOV AT HEART UNDERTHE ONLY OVERCOAT THE AXE FOR THE / ONLY / SKULL OF THEPAWNBROKERESSIn the loneliness of the airports I exhale I am Privileged My revulsionis a privilege Screened by a wall Barbed wire prison Photograph of the author. I don’t want to eat drink breat he love a woman a man a child an animal anymore. I don’t want to die anymore. I don’t want to kill anymore. Tearing up of the photograph of the author.I break open my sealed-off flesh. I want to live in my veins, in the marrow7of my bones,in the labyrinth of my skull. I withdraw into my intestines. I take refuge in my shit, myblood. Somewhere bodies are being broken, so that I can live in my shit. Somewherebodies are being carved open, so that I can be alone with my blood. My thoughts arewounds in my brain. My brain is a wound. I want to be a machine. Arms to grasp legs towalk no pain no thoughts.Television screens go black. Blood from the refrigerator. Three naked women: MarxLenin Mao. Speak simultaneously each in their own language the text IT IS AQUESTION OF OVERTHROWING ALL SOCIAL RELATIONS, IN WHICH HUMANBEINGS ARE...
Hamlet-actor puts on costume and mask. HAMLET THE DANE PRINCE AND FEAST FOR WORMS STUMBLING FROM HOLE TO HOLE TO THE LAST HOLE, LUSTERLESSIN THE BACK THE SPECTER WHICH MADE HIMGREEN LIKE OPHELIA’S FLESH IN CHILDBEDAND SCARCE AFORE THE THIRD COCK’S CROW TOREA FOOL THE CLOWN-COSTUME9OF THE PHILOSOPHERTHEN CRAWLED A WELLKEPT BLOODHOUND INTO THE TANK Steps into armor, splits the heads of Marx Lenin Mao with the axe. Snowfall. Ice Age.
WILDSTRAINING / IN THE FEARSOME ARMAMENTS / MILLENIA
Deep sea. Ophelia in wheelchair. Fish wreckage corpses and body-parts stream past.OPHELIAWhile two men in doctor’s smocks wrap her from top to bottom in white bandages.Here speaks Electra. In the Heart of Darkness. Under the Sun of Torture. To theMetropolises of the World. In the Names of the Victims. I expel all the semen which Ihave received. I transform the milk of my breasts into deadly poison. I suffocate theworld which I gave birth to, between my thighs. I bury it in my crotch. Down with the joyof oppression. Long live hate, loathing, rebellion, death. When she walks through yourbedroom with butcher’s knives, you’ll know the truth. Exit men. Ophelia remains on the stage, motionless in the white packaging.
1. Reference to the great philosopher and Marxist theologian Ernst Bloch (1885-1977).
2. Note that none of these English phrases are actual quotes from Shakespeare.
3. “Pest”: literally means “plague”, but used here as a pun on the Budapest uprising of 1956, which was crushed by Eastern bloc tanks. Note the intriguing reference toGreenland and some sort of 1970s-style environmental radicalism; Mueller’s next play,The Mission, practically overflows with ecological references.
4. “Gemuetlichkeit”: stronger than friendliness, also cosiness, warmth, good cheer.
5. “Pointer”: one-liners, also sharp points.
6. “Konsumschlacht”: consumption-battle, violence of consumerism.
7. “Mark”: bone-marrow, but also a pun on the two official German currencies, i.e. theEast German Ostmark and the West German Deutschmark.
8. Opening lines of the introduction to Karl Marx’s Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy ofLaw.
9. “Schellenkleid”: reference to the carnival costumes worn during the annual springstreet festivals common to Central Europe.
10. Quotation from a poetic fragment by the 19thcentury German poet Hoelderin, entitledsimply, Shakespeare. The term translated as armaments, “Ruestung”, can also meanarmor.
[ the text is not not fully formatted. AA ]
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