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Measure for Measure

William Shakespeare / Cheek by Jowl / Pushkin Theatre / Declan Donnellan

Satirical, shocking and radically stripped back, Measure for Measure from Britain’s Cheek by Jowl and Moscow’s Pushkin Theatre is a gripping, compelling production of one of Shakespeare’s most controversial plays.

Indulgent Duke Vincentio leaves Vienna in the hands of his puritanical deputy Angelo, to secretly observe the virtues and vices of his unruly state. When the saintly Isabella pleads with Angelo to release her brother Claudio, sentenced to death for fornication, he agrees on one condition: that Isabella sacrifice her virginity to him.

Measure for Measure is a unique brew of laughter and biting seriousness, unravelling the fractious relationship between the power of the state and the freedom of the individual. Trimmed down to just over 100 minutes, this internationally acclaimed production shines a piercing light on secrets, shame and control, drawing unsettling parallels with contemporary issues of privacy and surveillance.

Cheek by Jowl is one of Britain’s most daring and respected theatre companies, led by co-artistic directors Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, who have produced work in English, French and Russian across six continents since 1981. They have worked in Russia since 1986, and this, their first collaboration with Moscow’s historic Pushkin Theatre, has been admired for blending the great traditions of Russian theatre with piercing modern perspectives.

Praised for its powerful critique of contemporary Russia as well as the visceral impact of its staging, this is Measure for Measure as compelling political and moral thriller, provocative and subversive.

Declan Donnellan's Russian cast are so electrifyingly intense and disturbing that they make your hair stand on end. ★★★★★

The Times

Contains adult themes and nudity

16-20 August 2016

This event was part of a previous International Festival and is therefore unavailable to book. The 2019 programme will be available from Wednesday 27 March at 10am.