The Merchant of Venice
On three nights, audiences were transported to the harsh, unyielding world of Renaissance Venice, when a cast of students performed Shakespeare’s bleakly comic drama 'The Merchant of Venice' in the New Benildus Hall.
The stage had been transformed into the Rialto, where Antonio the Merchant and Shylock the Jew clash with potentially horrific consequences. The actors really captured the hatred and barely-concealed brutality of the world described in Shakespeare’s play, where religious intolerance and tribal allegiances are the day to day fare. They controlled the dynamics of the play flawlessly, building up to a devastating climax in the court scene, where the ‘mercy’ they all propound is totally scanted.
This was cleverly contrasted with the humour of the tussle between the wives and husbands in the play, the universal battle of the sexes to work out who takes precedence in the world. Music from Goldfrapp created an eerie, other-worldly tone, highlighting the mechanical, utilitarian approach of the characters to all relationships.
Audiences were deeply impressed, describing the production as “suave, stylish and sophisticated”, “visually stunning” and “amazing… a superb performance”.
Photos from the performances are available to buy from DE Photo - event code is 'claire'