The “wooden O”: that is what Shakespeare called his theatre. The famous Globe Theatre on the banks of the river Thames in London, where the playwright created most of his plays, was an open-air amphitheater where spectators and actors could watch each other from all sides. Spread out in galleries, on the floor and on the stage, the audience and performers formed a joyful microcosm to which Shakespeare is said to have paid homage with the epigraph “Totus mundus agit histrionem” (“All the world’s a theatre”) on the main entrance.
Four hundred years later and nine hundred and twenty-six kilometers away, a concrete “O” now houses the bard’s masterpieces. Erected along the river Sorge, not far from Lake Geneva, THE VORTEX is in many ways reminiscent of its London ancestor – only five times bigger. With a diameter of 137 meters and eight spiraling levels of galleries, this circular building is also a world in itself: grouping together flats, shops, restaurants and an auditorium, it is the ideal place to host the 5th edition of the Lausanne Shakespeare Festival.