The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

The traged
y of romeo a
nd juliet

The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Directed by Jette Steckel


“Why do people fall in love? Probably because they’ve read about it somewhere,” speculates philosopher Boris Groys – and because they have seen it at the cinema or the theatre.
What have they read or seen? “Romeo and Juliet!” Shakespeare’s tragedy is the starting point for all romantic love stories. It is the model and benchmark for everything that came after it in art and in life. Right up to the present day. The great love that conquers all proves itself in the willingness to die for love or for the one you love. Anything else is not to have true love. It always ends fatally: either for the lovers or for the love itself. At the theatre and at the opera it is the lovers who die, be they by the names of Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde or Bonnie and Clyde. The couples are dead at the end, but their love lives on forever. In life this is rarely the case, rather it is usually love that dies and transforms into something pragmatic, viable, rational. ‘True’ love in art and literature is always impossible, forbidden and dangerous. It turns human laws upside down and does not care for death, morality or logic. “I only want what I already have.” “The more I give to thee, the more I have.” It is with such words, mocking all economic reason, that Juliette describes her state of sheer bliss. Is this what we all long for? Does love overrule the survival instinct? 

Jette Steckel’s production looks at the eternal mystique of the ‘greatest love story of all time’ from three perspectives: theatrical, musical with Anja Plaschg (‘Soap&Skin’) and Anton Spielmann (‘1000 Robota’) and physically with a ‘mass movement’ of young Hamburg citizens - 20 women and 20 men.

Premiere on 6th September at Thalia Theater

On Tour

1st and 2nd November 2016
Festspiele Ludwigshafen

13. und 14. June 2015
Festspiele Zurich, Switzerland

5th and 6th May 2015
Maifestspiele Wiesbaden