Was ihr wollt (Twelfth Night)

Theatre Music | 2022

Shakespeare’s play in a version by Carola Söllner

A production of Brandenburger Theater

Orsino loves Olivia. Olivia doesn’t love Orsino, she loves Cesario. Cesario is Viola and loves Orsino. Antonio loves Sebastian, Sebastian loves Olivia, and nobody loves Malvolia. Got it?

After a shipwreck, Viola is able to save herself on the coast of Illyria. She lost her twin brother Sebastian in the disaster. But what now? A young woman alone, trying to take a foothold in a foreign country? No. She enters Duke Orsino’s service disguised as a man, calls herself Cesario and is supposed to woo Lady Olivia for the Duke, with whom he is extremely painfully in love. But Olivia falls in love with the messenger and Orsino doesn’t quite know what to do either: He feels very attracted to Cesario, although he actually quite clearly prefers women – doesn’t he?

Shakespeare’s comedy, probably first performed in 1602, offers everything you want – “What you will”. Mistaken identities, eroticism, sparkling wordplay, drama and passion. The play is all about the “Twelve Nights”, that saturnal time in December celebrated with debauched parties in Elizabethan England: nothing is the same on these nights, it’s all about the excess. And yet you’ll find a seriousness and timelessness in the play’s characters. The search for one’s own identity without external constraints, the longing to overcome outdated gender clichés and the desire to be truly understood in one’s own humanity – they make “Was ihr wollt” a red-hot play.