Five Truths: Stanislavski

Running time: 7.13mins

Film maker: Fifty Nine Productions

This video features two films from the video installation Five Truths that focus on a Stanislavskian approach to Ophelia.

What are the differences between five of the most influential European theatre practitioners of the 20th century? How would these five directors work with the actress playing Ophelia in the famous mad scene in Shakespeare's Hamlet?  What would they ask the actress to do and how would they ask the actress to behave?

A video installation called Five Truths commissioned by the V&A in partnership with the National Theatre was created by a group of contemporary theatre makers lead by Katie Mitchell, looking at these questions. The multi-screen installation brings together five interpretations of Ophelia's madness in Hamlet and consists of ten short films suggesting possible variations in what you might see. Ten screens of varying sizes simultaneously play films of Ophelia interpreted dramatically through the lens of Konstantin Stanislavski, Antonin Artaud, Bertolt Brecht, Jerzy Grotowski and Peter Brook.

Created by director Katie Mitchell, video designer Leo Warner, set designer Vicki Mortimer, lighting designer Paule Constable and sound designer Gareth Fry, starring Michelle Terry as Ophelia.

The Five Truths will visit the NT for a period in 2012.


The National Theatre has a rich history of working with many great directors, including Laurence Olivier, Peter Hall, Jonathan Miller, Richard Eyre, and Trevor Nunn. More recently the theatre has been home to Howard Davies, Mike Leigh, Katie Mitchell, Danny Boyle, Deborah Warner, Marianne Elliott, Josie Rourke, Felix Barrett, Nadia Fall and Nicholas Hytner. This collection of videos give an insight into how the work of a director at the National Theatre.