Vienna. Duke Vincentio leaves the town on a diplomatic mission. During his absence, he is represented by his Deputy Angelo, a man generally known as irreproachable and a guardian of good moral life. He is striving to impose order on the city. Mercilessly. He had decided to put an ultimate end to lechery and to cleanse the town of the prostitution. He intends to execute young Claudio on a gallow for making Ju- lia pregnant without being legally married to her. It appears that not even appeals and pleading by Clau- dio‘s sister Isabella can move him to grant him amnesty. Unless... The initial theatre situation that could easily have come from media nowadays has its own „buts“. They are the same as the subtext carried by the said current news. The respected citizen and sworn enemy of fornication suddenly turns out to be the biggest debauchee, corrupter and rakehell of them all. The city, originally well ordered, turns out to be one large - pardon the expression - brothel. In exchange for sex with Isabella, Angelo might be willing to re-evaluate his stance to Claudio‘s execution. But Isabella refuses to accept his conditions. Incogni- to, the Duke Vincentio re-enters the game: his ostensible departure was but a quirky test of the city‘s moral crisis, and he o ers Isabella a possible solution. Something is rotten, and not just in the state of Denmark. „The only hope o ered by Shakespeare‘s bitter comedy consists in mobilizing people’s sense of justice,“ says the play‘s translator and Shakespeare scholar Martin Hilský. That theme remains utter- ly topical nowadays! A er this play, Shakespeare never wrote another comedy.
„Glaser created a production of Shakespeare that is modern while not being modish. (...) He leaves it to the spectators to decide whom in this procession of bizarre, ambiguous characters they will o er their sympathy and how big their disillusion will be. It‘s not a morality served word for word - (...) Everything is subordinated to the fast perception of the story line by the video clip viewers of our day. And so he successfully builds a fast moving story that in places bubbles like a political thriller movie full of ruses, scheming and sophisticating juggling both power and rules.“
Luboš Mareček, Lidové noviny