Fri 16 May
by William Shakespeare
Premiere 16. May 2025

What is widely regarded as the most romantic play by the linguistic genius Shakespeare begins on the streets of Verona, where daggers speak more eloquently than tongues. They are at war. Although the Prince has arranged a ceasefire between the opposing clans of Montagues and Capulets, the smallest provocation is enough to produce further deaths. Only the youngest members of the warring families can find a new language that goes beyond weapons, and it is an unconventional one: «Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love.» Romeo and Juliet prefer this to the war fought by their relatives, although at first they only do so in secret. From the very outset, a utopia can be heard amid the gentle poetry of seduction, suggesting that their love might offer a peace that transcends their own happiness.

In complete contrast with «A Midsummer Night’s Dream», which we believe was written at around the same time, here the night is the time of genuine feelings, when masks slip and names and backgrounds no longer matter. Even if Shakespeare ultimately does not allow his lovers to survive the song of the lark, their example highlights the fact that an end to the hostilities is possible.

In her production resident director Elsa-Sophie Jach is concerned with the room for manoeuvre  available not only to the opposing families, but also to the sexes in this game of love and death.

«Little is what it claims to be in the theatre’s most famous love story, least of all the people. Their language is ambiguous, sleazy, overflowing and gorgeous. They are driven, unrelenting and unconditional. Is it hate or love that controls these people, or is it greed? And is a pause, some kind of understanding in this turbulent state, at all possible? Often, when someone is very close to death, they’re merry, Romeo says, they call it lightning before death.» Elsa-Sophie Jach

Artistic Direction

Direction Elsa-Sophie Jach
Stage Design Marlene Lockemann
Costume Design Johanna Stenzel
Music Max Kühn
Dramaturgy Katrin Michaels