Measure for Measure (2010)

 “Measure for measure” is one of the most complex and mysterious Shakespeare’s plays. It was first staged on the 16th of December 1604. The title of the play hides the line from the Bible: “Judge not, that ye be not judged”.

Vincentio, the Duke of Vienna, makes it known that he intends to leave the city on a diplomatic mission. He leaves the government in the hands of a strict judge, Angelo. But the Duke has not in fact left the city, but remains there disguised as a friar in order to spy on the city’s affairs, and especially on the actions of Angelo.

Shakespeare would have cheated himself if the play would be lacking of love, entwining lifelines, intrigues and wile. “Measure for measure” is a share where almost every character gets snapped in a trap that one would make for another. Angelo, who passed a sentence on Claudio for the fornication, harbours lustful thoughts about Isabella and suggests that he will spare Claudio’s life if Isabella yields him her virginity. The tragic tension defines the majority of scenes in the play.

“The heroes, created by Shakespeare, are beings, filled with passions and sins, various circumstances uncover their diverse nature”. These words from Aleksandr Pushkin perfectly describe the essence of the characters in the play “Measure for Measure”.

What interests the director Yury Butusov in the play is, above all, the paradox of human nature. In this respect “Measure for Measure” is balanced and complete. The picture of the world includes light and dark, good and evil. A man lives according to the common law.

During the rehearsal the association with Dostoevsky emerged. Both authors are timeless for they descended to the very depth of human’s consciousness. On this basis came the idea that one actor would play both parts of Angelo and the Duke. We were interested not in the issues of the power, but the contradictions of one’s soul, the inexplicability of the characters’ actions. That is why set design and costumes are undated.

The space of the stage is almost empty filled only with the souls of the characters. Their thoughts and actions matter.

Director claims that love is the only motivation there can be. It forces one to commit a lot of follies and nasty things but in the end beautifies one’ soul. This collision is essential to life and human, and we all fight with ourselves to reach the truth eventually.

Measure for Measure was one of the favourite theatre events of 2012, according to Michael Billington, our most famous theatre critic.

Runningtime: 3 hours

Main Stage

Premiere was on 7 September 2010

Characters & Cast:

The Duke of Vienna
Sergey Epishev
His vicegerent
Sergey Epishev
Duke’s attendant
Alexei Kuznetsov
Claudio Vladimir Beldiyan
Eugenia Kregzhde
Claudio’s lover
Maria Berdinskikh
Lucio Oleg Lopuhov
Provost Artur Ivanov
Valery Ushakov
Friar Peter
Valery Ushakov
Bawd and tapster
Evgeny Kosyrev
Leonid Bichevin
Victor Dobronravov
Leonid Bichevin
Victor Dobronravov
Angelo’s ex-bride
Alexandra Streltsina
Mistress Overdone
Mistress of the brothel
Anna Antonova
Anna Antonova
Judge, Barnardine, Messenger Victor Dobronravov


Director Yuriy Butusov
Set designer Aleksandr Orlov
Composer Faustas Latenas
Ballet master Nikolay Reutov
Lighting designer Maya Shavdatuashvili