The 23rd Gdansk Shakespeare Festival



Gdańsk, Teatr Wybrzeże


Nowy Teatr, Słupsk, Poland

Merchant of Venice

The Golden Yorick Competition

Portia, fulfilling her late father’s will, takes part in a weird experiment where she herself is at stake. Bassanio, cut-off from cash, is ready to take it as far as it gets, but is it only about the money? Antonio, a wealthy merchant is prepared to risk his own body, as he realizes that without love, all he possess is only a glitter of pleasure fading as soon as youth. Jew Shylock, harassed and persecuted due to his nationality and religion decides to make a radical move in order to gain respect. Everyone crave for something more, want something real, physical.

The Merchant of Venice from Słupsk directed by Szymon Kaczmarek treats the most ambiguous, uneasy and uncomfortable of Shakespeare’s plays as if it were written today – in a world of recurring monsters of anti-Semitism, furious reactions to the emancipation of women, all those poisonous stereotypes that have always lived or are just waking up. Nothing in Kaczmarek’s performance is just good or bad. There are no homogeneous heroes. People repay evil for evil, injustice with injustice. Excluded and hidden can behave immorally, suspiciously and dishonestly. And everyone loses, being cheated in the end. Kaczmarek takes us to the port, where, as Kora sang, it is difficult to breathe in the heat.

Łukasz Drewniak, Golden Yorick Competition Qualifier

  • Creators:
  • Cast:

Play by: Wiliam Shakespeare
Translation into Polish: Stanisław Barańczak
Directed by: Szymon Kaczmarek
Set Design: Kaja Migdałek
Music: Żelisław Żelisławski
Soundtrack includes sounds from, Creative Commons Licence, by: jakobthiesen, tim.kahn, Pfannkuchn, juskiddink, Robinhood76, Exacom, Yuval.

Igor Chmielnik, Monika Janik, Adam Jędrosz, Anna Kończal, Krzysztof Kluzik, Wojciech Marcinkowski, Kacper Sasin and Sławomir Głazek (video).

Tickets from


Fernando Ferrer




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