The Merchant of Venice

The Astorka Korzo ’90 Theatre, Bratislava, 1995
Author: William Shakespeare
Directed by Roman Polák

about the production

“The Merchant of Venice is carefully composed in a harmony with excellent music which is in full consonance with the dramatic structure of the play. It is beautifully rhythmical, it shares in dynamic music editing in metamorphoses of situations, space and time. In opera inserts, the music creates a wonder world apart, as if filled with a naive magic spell of a theatre fairy-tale. It revels in parody phenomena, sophisticated imitation, wittiness, it is a bearer of dramatic tension and emotional relief as well. ... Juicy elements interwoven, grotesqueness, poetic and lyric rendering, capability of self-parody, even in opera parts, join the happiness of the play...”

(Dagmar Podmaková)



director and adaptation: Roman Polák
translation: Jozef Kot
script editing: Barbara Gincllová
stage set by Tony van Nuffelen
costumes: Milan Čorba
music: Peter  Mankovecký
music assistant: Kristian  Seidmann
assistant director: Richard  Bobek
lyrics: Ľubomír  Feldek
choreography: Šárka Strapáková, Katarína Solárová
cast: Ľubomír Gregor, Vladimír Černý, Vlado Hajdu, Marta Sládečková, Peter Šimun, Dagmar Lakčevič, Matej Landl, Anna Šišková, Igor Krempaský, Juraj Mokrý, Ľudovít Cittel, František Kovár, Ľudovít Moravčík, Richard Mešt'an, Miroslav Dvorský, Simon Šomorjai, Ivan Heller, Karin Olasová, Zuzana Ďurinová, Lucia Lužinská, Martina Michalcová


Roman Polák (born in 1957). After graduating from the Academy of Music and Drama (VŠMU) at the Department of Theatre Directing, Roman Polák worked with Drama Ensemble of the State Theatre in Košice (Eastern Slovakia) and since 1984 with the Slovak National Uprising Theatre (DSNP) in Martin (Central Slovakia). The best of plays staged in Martin represented both the DSNP and creative artist at many international festivals, e.g. B. Brecht Baal, Edinburgh in 1992 – Prize of the Critics of the British daily newspaper, the Guardian. From 1990 to 1995, after he left DSNP Martin, Polák gave many guest performances in Slovak and Czech theatres, e.g. the National Theatre Prague, D. Claudel: A Satin Slipper, 1993, the National Theatre Brno, W. Shakespeare: King Lear, 1994, the Slovak National Theatre (SND) Bratislava, G. Tabori: Mein Kampf, 1990, W. Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, 1992, Wedekind: Lulu, 1993 (DN´93), Horák-Záborský: Heaven, Inferno, Gotham, 1995. In the Theatre Astorka – Korzo´90, Polák became famous by staging the unforgettable trilogy Trial (F. Kafka, 1990), Cyrano (by E. Rostand, 1994), The Merchant of Venice (W. Shakespeare, 1995). Polák did not interrupt his devotion to Shakespeare even when he went to the U.S., where his Macbeth (Chicago, 1992) won wide recognition, was praised by the critics and met with great response from the audience. Since March 1995, Roman Polák has worked with the Theatre Astorka – Korzo´90 as a full-time director.