by William Shakespeare

The story about the explosive promissory bill between Shylock and the merchant Antonio, staged with a lot of wit and topical relevance, was last seen at the Landestheater Marburg as part of the 16th Hessian Children’s and Youth Theater Week.

With: Leopold Altenburg, David Fischer, Tina Seydel, S-Dog as well as Nebil Erdogan, Jilou Rasul, Faruk Haziri, Miguel Inserra
Director: Severin von Hoensbroech
Stage and costumes: Annika Ley
Music: Kornelius Heidebrecht
Production Management: Jörg Tewes
Public Relations: Claudia Grönemeyer

Premiere in Bonn: January 14, 2010 at theaterimballsaal
Premiere in Cologne: March 02, 2010, studiobühneköln

If you stab us, don’t we bleed?
When you tickle us, we don’t laugh?
If you poison us, won’t we die?
And if you insult us, shall we not take revenge?

Venice – gondolas, pigeons and tourists. Not with Shakespeare. In his time, Venice is a mercantile metropolis. Capital rules here with its iron laws. Today Shakespeare’s tragicomedy THE BUYER OF VENICE seems to be a play from the globalized world. Migration, xenophobia, global trade, conflicts between religions – this is the Venice in which the slightly depressed merchant Antonio operates. In today’s understanding: a global player. His business: high-risk speculation.

When his friend Bassanio needs a good sum of money to woo the beautiful princess Portia in a foreign kingdom, he helps him. He generously guarantees a loan with his ships to the wealthy Jew Shylock. The loan flows promptly, but the promissory bill has it all. Shylock’s bitterness about his social position is expressed in the contract, as draconian as it is bloody, to be allowed to cut a pound of flesh from his creditor’s body if the latter does not repay the borrowed money on time.

While Bassanio is still struggling to find Portia, Antonio’s ships sink in a storm and Shylock demands his rights. A young judge presides over the trial – it is Portia disguised as a man….

THE BUYER OF VENICE fits into the here and now, into the open discussion of integration and assimilation, like hardly any contemporary play. In addition to the actors of the fringe ensemble, the production therefore also features gangster rappers, break dancers and hip-hoppers on stage.

A production of Venedig GbR/fringe ensemble. Sponsored by: Federal City of Bonn, Ministry for Generations, Family, Women and Integration of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, RheinEnergieStiftung Kultur and Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Sieg. Supported by: Don Bosco Club Cologne and Godesheim gGmbh Bonn.