Questioning the ‘of’ in Performance-as-translation: Multimedia as a Subtext in the 2003 Pécs Performance ‘of’ Hamlet

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This article explores a theatre performance (National Theatre Pécs, 2003, dir. Iván Hargitai) working with a 1999 Hungarian translation of Hamlet by educator, scholar, translator and poet Ádám Nádasdy as a structural transformation (Fischer-Lichte 1992) of the dramatic text for the stage. The performance is perceived as an intersemiotic translation but not as one emerging from a source-to-target one-way route. The study focuses on certain substructures such as the set design and the multimedial nature of the performance (as defined by Giesekam 2007), and by highlighting intertextual and hypertextual ways of accessing this performance-as-translation it questions the ‘of’ in the ‘performance of Hamlet (or insert other dramatic title)’ phrase.
This experimentation with the terminology around performance-as-translation also facilitates the unveiling of a layer of the complex Hungarian Hamlet palimpsest, which, as a multi-layered cultural phenomenon, consists of much more than literary texts: its fabric includes theatre performance and other creative works.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-108
Number of pages19
JournalMulticultural Shakespeare: Translation, Appropriation and Performance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2017


  • Shakespeare reception
  • Shakespeare translation
  • retranslation
  • Hamlet
  • Shakespeare in Hungary
  • drama translation
  • Ádám Nádasdy
  • intersemiotic translation
  • adaptation
  • structural transformation
  • performance as translation
  • multimedia performance
  • performance as hypertext


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