Production | 10 remarkable productions


By William Shakespeare
German translation by Angela Schanelec and Jürgen Gosch
Text version by Koen Tachelet

Schauspielhaus Bochum

Premiere: 12 May 2023

Three people in black suits stand in a tiled pool and fight over a sword.

Macbeth © Schauspiel Bochum

Can one of William Shakespeare‘s goriest tragedy be funny? Director Johan Simons and his stupendous cast make the attempt in “Macbeth” – and create brilliant theatre.

Audience Talk
Sunday, 19.5.2024 after the performance
Impulse: Katja Kipping (Former Social Senator and Lifeguard)
Jury member: Sascha Westphal
Moderated by Florian Malzacher

Watch the full-length performance on television
Saturday, 11.5.2024 at 20:15 on 3sat

Watch the full-length performance online
in the 3sat-Mediathek and in the BerlinerFestspiele Media Library from Thursday, 2.5. to Friday, 30.8.2024

War hero Macbeth and his friend Banquo return from the battlefields. He is revered as a hero in his Scottish home and a group of weird creatures even predict that he will be king. But in order to reach the throne, he has to commit not just one, but several murders. Encouraged by his Lady, he sets to his bloody work until there is only one person left standing in his way – he himself.
Director Johan Simons reads William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Macbeth”, written between 1603 and 1607, as a comedy – and brings off a veritable theatrical coup. Marina Galic, Jens Harzer and Stefan Hunstein slip into all the parts with ease and virtuosity, turning this “Macbeth” into a celebration of the art of acting.

Statement of the Jury

It is basically an obvious idea, and now director Johan Simons has taken a spirited hold of it. He construes William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” as the prototype of the Theatre of the Absurd. Which is exactly what this horror play with all its improbabilities and its penchant for the supernatural and the cruelly grotesque has always been. Conceived as a farce, the tragedy shines in new splendour, bestowed not least by Marina Galic, Jens Harzer and Stefan Hunstein. They play all the roles and use the rapid transitions from one character to the next as opportunities for abstruse gags. As sad clowns, they don Shakespeare’s characters like costumes while constantly intuiting the senselessness of it all. This lends their characters a surprising and, all their savagery notwithstanding, touching vulnerability. “Fair is foul and foul is fair”, is the witches’ announcement at the beginning of the play. Simons and his cast make this reversal of values work. The tragic is comical, the comical is tragic.

Tojuror Sascha Westphal’s video statement in the Berliner Festspiele Media Library (in German)

ProgrammeBooklet (pdf, 7.1 MB)

Artistic Team

Johan Simons – Director
Nadja Sofie Eller – Stage Design
Greta Goiris – Costume Design
Florian Schaumberger – Video
Bernd Felder – Lighting Design
Koen Tachelet – Dramaturgy
Friederike Harmstorf – Associate Director


Stefan HunsteinWitch
Jens HarzerWitch / Macbeth / Duncan / Malcolm / Murderer
Marina Galic – Witch / Lady Macbeth / Banquo / Macduff / Lady Macduff / Son

With the kind support of Freundeskreis Schauspielhaus Bochum e. V.