CHAPTER 5.2.9 - 5.2.11

Continuous change is also what distinguishes the two characters in Hamlet II: exit ghost. By isolating them from the dramatic development of Shakespeare, and even throwing their identity into confusion, Dahlqvist opens a wide field of associations. You can view the performance as a simple love conflict, as psychoanalytic therapy, as a reflection on acting, as a contemporary Kaspar Hauser, and even as the existential portrait of a potential killer. Each perspective changes the characters on stage again. They are multi-interpretable. "Blank as a sheet of paper", they say themselves.

(Wouter Hillaert 2012)


EXAMPLE 5.2.9. Sound: Radio play version scene 9

1 And all the love. Hamlet. Dad. Everyone. And the gaze turned down, and all the voices, those inside of me, everyone’s, and those that exist outside of me I shut out because I only want to hear the song of the sirens deep down at the bottom deep down at the bottom of this darkness, the abyss, and see my own reflection the darkness like a second face, my own, the face that’s come to term with its sacrifices and the sacrifices one is forced to make that is the fate intended for one and I stand before the abyss and but my legs can’t bend for the task that’s my own so I stand still and with my gaze turned down to the water and the water lilies and I’m can’t bend I’m not capable to embrace what’s gonna become me that isn’t yet but soon will be and whose morals I’m forced to encompass and please god let my legs bend themselves out of humility I want I want the abyss the darkness but I can’t take that one step into transference, to give oneself to love, to give oneself and just allow oneself to be contained in the cathedral, the mausoleum …

No, I don’t dare to, I won’t be able to handle the task that’s mine, that belongs to my other face so I stand down here every night, all night, down by the water and just stare out across the water, the gaze, straight down into the deep waters and I hope my knees will finally bend and please knee, bend, knee bend, knee bend yourself, body and thought


Hamlet II: exit ghost plays against a large projection screen, in which not only live close-ups of both actors appear and flow through one another, but also excursions are made from recorded images of Ophelia on the water, or Hamlet in the graveyard. They are not simple illustrations, but almost psychedelic evocations of a condition of being. “I don’t wish to use video narratively”, confirms Dahlqvist. “Rather, as an additional actor.” (Hillaert 2012)

EXAMPLE 5.2.10. Video: Performance, scene 9

Composing with superimposed dramatic situations

EXAMPLE 5.2.11. Sound: Radio play version, scene 5 (end) - 8

2 I’m going it for mom’s sake. You know very well what he did to mom. And I’ve promised. I promised that I would hir. I did promise. I can’t break a promise, right?

1 No.

2 But maybe you think that I will but you will never do that. I’m never gonna break a promise that I’ve promised. But I won’t do it regardless of what you think. Because I’m never gonna break a promise.

1 And what about me?

2 What?

1 What’s gonna become of me?

2 No, no questions. I don’t want you to ask anything. I don’t want any questions. I can do without your questions.

1 It’s not a question.

2 It’s a question. I’m keeping my promise nothing else. Nothing else.

1 Hey!

2 No, cut it out now. Nothing else. I’m not gonna do anything. I haven’t promised anything. I’m just gonna keep my promise nothing else. And I haven’t promised anything. I’ve told you. I’ve told you earlier. Later. I’ve told you that earlier.


Scene 6 – overlapping previous scene



What do you want? You talk. I see that you talk. That you were talking to someone. Who did you talk to? Who are you talking to? There’s nobody there. You’re not talking to anyone. You are talking into the air. It’s just air. You are talking into the air.  Why are you talking into the air? Why are you talking into thin air? To whom? There’s nobody there. What do you want? What do you want. What are you trying to achieve? What are you trying to achieve by talking into thin air. Tell me what you want? Tell me what you want. I don’t know what you want. I don’t know what you want.

1 and 2 (merging into each other)

What do you want? You talk. I can see that you talk. That you talked to someone. Who did you talk to? Who are you talking to? There’s nobody there. You are not talking to anyone. You are talking into thin air. That’s just air. You are talking to the air. Why are you talking to the air? Why are you talking into thin air? To whom? There’s nobody there. There’s nobody there. What do you want? What do ...........


Scene 7 – overlapping previous scene


2 What have you done?

1 Nothing.

2 Nothing? Nothing, you are completely soaked. All of you is completely what have you done?

1 It was raining outside.

2 Have you been down by the water?

1 No.

2 You know that you can’t. You know that I won’t allow you to be down by the water. You know that.

1 I haven’t been either.

2 It’s deep and the water is dark and cold.

1 I haven’t been down by the water.

2 What have you done then?

1 It was raining outside. I said that.

2 There wasn’t a cloud in the sky earlier today. It was totally clear.

1 Now it does. It’s raining.

2 You shouldn’t go out in the rain. You’ll catch a cold.

1 Why do you care?

2 Why do I care? I’m protective of you. I don’t want anything to happen to you.

1 Don’t you love me?

2 Silence.

1 Huh?

2 Of course. As good as I can. It’s I do as well as I can, I love you as good as I can. You know that, don’t you? That I care about you? I do.

1 Show it then.

2 I do all the time. I think about you. Every day.

1 Don’t do that.

2 But I do. Every day.

1 Do what you want. It doesn’t matter.


Scene 8 – overlapping previous scene


2 What has happened?

1 Nothing.

2 Please talk to me.

1 I don’t want to talk to you.

2 Do you hate me?

1 No.

2 But you do.

1 Why would I do that?

2 I don’t know. I’ve behaved badly.

1 You haven’t done anything.

2 Earlier.

1 You don’t do anything.

2 What is it then? I would give you everything. I would give you and you would get everything. But it didn’t turn out that way. Is that why you hate me?

1 I said I don’t hate you. I don’t have an opinion about you.

2 But what is it then?

1You are a blank sheet of paper to me. There are no words on that piece of paper that I care about. It’s totally blank and I, I don’t know. I don’t know, what that fucking paper says because it doesn’t fucking matter. It doesn’t matter. I guess it’s a normal fucking piece of paper and I don’t give a fuck about it. I don’t give a fuck about it. The paper.

2 You’re gonna go under if you. You’re gonna be destroyed go under.

1 But I already am. Don’t you understand that? Don’t you understand? That?

2 I can help you. I’m not gonna destroy you, I’m gonna.

1 You already have.

2 Don’t say that.

1 But it’s true.

2 I can’t bear to live without you to live with this soot inside of me without you without your joy and to try to keep this shell that I, hir, him you that exists here inside of me, the soot shadow.

1 We’re all shadows. We’re all shadows and we’re all going under. We’re all and are going under darkness.


Scene 9


1 There’s the water. There. It’s calling me. It’s calling my name. Ophelia. Ophelia.

2 Hamlet.