The 1926 production of Hamlet is of particular significance in a range of contexts. It was Karel Hiller’s return production following a career hiatus occasioned by a devastating stroke in 1924 and marked the beginning of a more reflective stage of his career (Burian, 1982:67). It was the production in which Hofman apparently shifted his focus from explorations of solid matter to explorations of open space (Burian, 2002:127) and has been further identified as significant in its use of screens to articulate that space (Burian, 2007). The significance of this particular production is further evidenced by the rich and varied original design material which has been preserved in a variety of archives (principally those held at Prague’s National Theatre and National Museum and in the Burian holdings of Columbus State University).
This Article explores Hofman's design through a processs of computer reconstruction, insights into the formal developments of Hofman’s design are enhanced by analysis informed by his critical writing on the subject published in his article ‘My Evolution in Theatre’ (Hofman, 1926d).