Boika Sokolova
Search for other papers by Boika Sokolova in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Kirilka Stavreva
Search for other papers by Kirilka Stavreva in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
J. C. Bulman
Search for other papers by J. C. Bulman in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Magical spectacles and nightmarish times
Max Reinhardt’s productions of The Merchant of Venice
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

The chapter introduces the iterations of The Merchant of Venice throughout the illustrious career of theatre director Max Reinhardt, one of the first practitioners to identify himself in this way. It discusses his shaping of The Merchant into a festive play during a tumultuous era, which saw the rise and fall of the German Empire, the hope and volatility of the Weimar Republic, and the rise of Nazism and anti-Semitism in the 1930s. Reinhardt’s Merchant had 363 performances across Europe. Between 1906 and 1924, it was seen in Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Brussels, Munich, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm. Over the course of three decades, Reinhardt’s productions, and The Merchant in particular, shaped the work of an entire generation of theatre practitioners, including architects, playwrights, musicians, dancers, actors, directors, and critics. The chapter analyses the unabashed theatricality of Reinhardt’s productions, the integration of technical innovations, meticulous choreography and orchestration of voice and silence, and his concerted effort to bring wider audiences into the theatre. In 1933, his theatre was confiscated, eventually forcing him to emigrate to the USA. He last staged The Merchant as the festive finale of the first Theatre Biennale in Venice in 1934. The detailed discussion of this production builds on contemporary reviews and reports. While Reinhardt worked toward the creation of a far-reaching community based on humanist principles, the fascist cultural-political powers of the 1930s used his theatre art to instil divisiveness and prop up their own cultural agenda.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

All of MUP's digital content including Open Access books and journals is now available on manchesterhive.

 

Shakespeare in Performance

The Merchant of Venice

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 26 26 5
Full Text Views 0 0 0
PDF Downloads 0 0 0