Measure for Measure

by William Shakespeare
Direction: Thomas Ostermeier

Translation and edition by Marius von Mayenburg

It’s getting pretty crazy in Vienna. Under Duke Vincentio’s government crime and prostitution have increased dramatically. His lieutenant Angelo enforces rigid moral politics. He imposes the death sentence on Claudio, who has slept with his fiancée before marrying her. But when Claudio’s sister Isabella speaks up for her brother, Angelo’s strict principles start to falter. He makes her an immoral offer: He will abolish the death sentence if she will have sex with him. For the devout Isabella this is a tragic dilemma: Should she, who wants to become a nun in a convent, prostitute herself to save her brother? »Measure for Measure« is known as one of Shakespeare’s »problem plays«. It defies a clear genre classification between moral consequences and inhuman cruelty. It offers an unsparing analysis of interpersonal dynamics in dealing with power, abuse and corruption. Shakespeare has written an elastic comedy about the difficulty of doing the right thing. 

A co-production with the Salzburger Festspiele.


Author: William Shakespeare
Direction: Thomas Ostermeier
Stage design: Jan Pappelbaum
Costume design: Ulrike Gutbrod
Music: Nils Ostendorf
Dramaturgy: Peter Kleinert
Licht: Urs Schönebaum
Music production: Timo Kreuser

Vincentio, the Duke: Gert Voss
Angelo, his deputy: Lars Eidinger
Isabella, Claudio's sister: Jenny König
Escalus / Madame Overdone: Erhard Marggraf
Lucio: Stefan Stern
Warden/ Brother Thomas: Franz Hartwig
Claudio / Mariana: Bernardo Arias Porras
Chant: Carolina Riaño Gómez
Trumpet: Nils Ostendorf
Guitar: Kim Efert

Duration: ca. 140 minutes

(without interval)

Premiered in Berlin on 17 September 2011
Premiered during Salzburger Festpiele on 17 August 2011

Tour Dates

Salzburg (August 2011)
Paris (April 2012)
Lausanne (Februar 2013)