This extraordinary play is disturbingly modern in the questions it raises about race, money and gender. Venice is presented as the commercial hub of the western world, a city teeming with opportunity where law is second to commerce, and there at the core of this mercantile world stands Shylock, the first Jew in western literature to be presented as a tragic human figure. Against him are ranged a cast of dubious characters, obsessed with wealth above love or any of the finer feelings.
The other magical creation of Shakespeare’s masterpiece is the vibrant and independent woman, Portia, who struggles for happiness and love despite her father’s bizarre lottery for her hand in marriage. She turns the patriarchy on its head by assuming a male disguise. Through her wit and intelligence she brings down not only Shylock with his vengeful claim to a pound of flesh from his debtor but the whole edifice of male power in Venice. But her triumph leaves a bitter taste in the mouth - is this play truly a comedy with a happy ending or an extraordinary warning of what will happen when the world is ruled by opportunism, racism and cold cash?
Guest Performance organized in cooperation with the American Drama Group Europe and the German-Pennsylvanian Society.
Vorverkauf: Staatstheater Saarbrücken, Tel.: 0681-3092486 oder www.theater-saarbrücken.de