Hamlet (1932)

In April 1932, according to the decree of the Central Committee of All-Russia Communist Party (of Bolsheviks) “On reformation of literary and art organizations” numerous groups, schools and unions in all kinds of art were liquidated. The term “socialist realism” had already been put into practice. A campaign against “formalism” is just about to be launched. This is when the impudent “Hamlet” appears at the Vakhtangists. The performance gave rise to a furious reaction. Slashing reviews neighbored on the enthusiastic ones. Western critics wrote that such “Hamlet” would cause a furor in Europe. Everyone admired the wonderful music by Shostakovich, the excellent acting of Shchukin — Polonius, Orochko — Gertrude and especially Simonov — Claudius. “Hamlet” was on for about a year and then it was removed. An expressive example of “formalism” was required, and this label was eventually stuck to this performance.

Main Stage

Premiere was on 19 May 1932

Characters & Cast:

Claudius, king of Denmark Ruben Simonov
Hamlet, prince of Denmark Anatoliy Goryunov
Fortinbras, prince of Norvegia Vladimir Moskvin
Polonius Boris Schukin
Horatio, student Alexander Kozlovskiy
Rosenkranz Joseph Rapoport
Gildenstern Konstantin Mironov
A priest Nikolay Bubnov
Martellius Alexander Khmara
Bernardo Mikhail Derzhavin
Francisco Nikolay Smirnov
Actor - King Nikolay Yanovsky
Actress - Queen Andrey Tutyshkin
Actor - Lucian Dmitry Zhuravlev
Troop’s administrator Ivan Kashirin
1st sexton Vladimir Balikhin
2nd sexton Oswald Glazunov
Fortinbras’s captain Viktor Eykhov
English ambassodor Boris Korolyov
Voltimand Boris Lebedev
A pirate Fedor Moskvin
Gertrude Anna Orochko
Ophelia Valentina Vagrina


Staging Nikolay Akimov
Stage director Boris Zakhava
Music Dmitriy Shostakovich