The Merchant of Venice

Budapesti Kamarszínház, Budapest, Hungary, 1998
Author: William Shakespeare
Directed by Róbert Alföldi

about the production

It is already the genre of the stage production - an audiovisual theatre performance – which suggests that it is going to be an attractive performance. The Alföldi's interpretation does not fore ground the conflict of a Jew and Christian in The Merchant of Venice. The traditional simplified scheme of good and bad characters is in the stage production replaced by the range of feelings and thoughts. Shylock and Antonio –  the rivals – represent two mirror images, two poles of evil, two failed, obnoxious life philosophies.

The performance directed by Alföldi tries to imprint a message in a spectator's minci about a death of a single man. Even a death of a single Jew is the Holocaust. Shylock's death is not only the death of the Jew, however, it is the death of a man who became the victim of the antagonist group, because he himself strives for the death of a man. Or take the other end of the thread: A man who decides to kill becomes the lonely victim of a hostile f iring squad which is morally more dead than the dead himself.


directed by:   Róbert Alföldi
translated by: Szabó Stein Imre
script editing: Erzsébet Rácz
song by: Gyorgy Pribili
dance coach:  Tamás Gyongyösi
costume design:  Andrea Bartha
stage design:  Kentaur
Shylock: Rátóti Zoltán, Antonio: László Zsolt, Bassanio, Prince of Morocco, Prince of Arragon: Bozsó Péter, Portia, Balthasar: Egri Kati, Nerissa, Attendant to Balthasar: Németh Bori, Jessica: Juhász Réka, Gratiano, Companion to the Prince of Morocco, Companion to the Prince of Arragon: Mundruczó Kornél, Salarino: Bank Tamás, Lorenzo: Dózsa Zoltán, Launcelot, Servant to Shylock: Karácsonyi Zoltán, Old Gobbo, Pultos, Porter, Tubal, Dózse: Horváth Ferenc, Guard: Katona Zoltán, and others: Cselkó Judit; Kurti Mariann, Marton Erika, Krsztovics Sándor


Róbert Alföldi (1967) graduated from the Actor’s Academy but over the last years he has established himself mainly as a director. He is a remarkable personality of the Hungarian theatre which presents his stage production to the Divadelna audience the second time last year he won the audience's esteem by his eloquent production of Chekhov 's The Seagull. He is one of those directors who avoid any schemes and simplifications, the fact which can be supported by The Merchant of Venice stage production. This performance was awarded by the professional audience the Best Director Annual Prize.