If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
REVIEW: Merchant of Venice
12:25am Thursday 17th October 2013 in Entertainments
“Oh no, they were in Salisbury and I missed them?” was one friend’s plaintive response when I told her Propeller had performed a pocket-sized version of The Merchant of Venice at Salisbury Arts Centre.
And it’s easy to see why she makes a point of seeing as many of their performances as possible.
The all-male cast, directed by the National Theatre’s Edward Hall, echoed the cross-dressing tradition of Shakespeare’s time, and that added more to the work than I thought it would have.
Having a man playing the female characters could have been comical but it wasn’t, it simply aided the understanding of the comedy, misdirection and intrigue the Bard wove through his work.
In paring the play down to one hour, the decision was taken to focus solely on the central interaction between Shylock and Antonio, leading inexorably towards their showdown in the court room.
It intensified the drama while making it more accessible and understandable for the many students and youngsters in the audience.
The actors then took part in a question and answer session following the performance, giving genuinely helpful responses and insights into a work that has always attracted controversy and hugely varied interpretations.
A fascinating and very enjoyable piece of theatre.
Comments are closed on this article.