Measure for Measure (Programme 2015)

Eat a Crocodile

Measure for Measure


  • Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 20:00h
  • Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 20:00h
  • Thursday, June 18, 2015, 15:00h
  • Thursday, June 18, 2015, 20:00h


Director: Dan Jemmett

Light: Arnaud Jung

Company Manager: Sophie Goody

Starring: Bob Goody, Jonathan Storey, Seonaid Goody, Charlotte Palmer

Duration: 1 hour and 40 minutes

Prices: A

Admission 45 minutes before the beginning of the performance

“Measure for Measure“ is one of Shakespeare's more rarely-performed plays. Thanks to a contribution from North Rhein-Westphalia's Ministry of Culture, the festival managed to bring the rarity on stage by awarding Dan Jemmett and his English company Eat a Crocodile with a commission production. Dan Jemmett, together with the Théâtre Vidy and the Compagnie des Petites Heures, have been successful guests on numerous occasions at the Globe. Using his usual quirky imagination, he will bring the Duke of Vienna's story to the stage. The latter yields his position to a strict regent to avoid dirtying his own hands. Yet as the puppet master, he remains behind the scenes and observes how his vice moraliser sexually blackmails a young nun, who is trying to avert her brother's death sentence. A text full of drama and, simultaneously, full of humour- one of the earliest tragicomedies in the history of theatre.

Dan Jemmett wants to place the action in a deteriorated funeral parlour which certainly is not the worst setting for a morally dubious operetta nation that Shakespeare intends to present to us.

With the support of the Ministry of Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of North Rhein-Westphalia


In English

Scene selection available in German

Plot Summary

The Duke of Vienna decides to leave the city for a while, appointing his deputy, Angelo, to govern in his absence. Angelo resolves to revive vigorous laws against sexual licence, which have fallen into disuse.

Under these laws a young gentleman, Claudio, is sentenced to death for having made his fiance´e Juliet pregnant before their wedding ceremony. Claudio's sister Isabella, a novice nun, is persuaded by his friend Lucio to plead with Angelo for her brother's life.

Angelo promises to free Claudio if Isabella will sleep with him. She refuses and tells her brother that she must keep her honour and he, therefore, must die. The duke has stayed in Vienna disguised as a friar observing the new regime and he now persuades Isabella to pretend to accede to Angelo's demands.

Her place in Angelo's bed is secretly taken by Mariana, Angelo's former fiance´e whom he deserted. After the event, Angelo betrays Isabella by trying to carry out Claudio's execution but his plans are foiled by the duke's intervention.