The Merchant of Venice
Directed by Andy Cork
3rd - 8th July 2023
Originally set in the 16th Century Italian City-State of Venice - a major trading centre at the time. The Commercial Revolution produced great wealth and fuelled the Renaissance. Venice also saw the establishment of the Jewish Ghetto within the city. The play examines the religious tensions caused by the demands of finance and trade where Christians persecuted Jews whilst exploiting their role as money lenders.
It is the persecution of Shylock, the Jew that provides the focal point of the play in a society driven by prejudice and hatred. But the centre of the play is love: pursued, unrequited, won and lost.
Even after all this time, the themes relevant in the original setting have remained as relevant today. Powerful storylines, sometimes comic or romantic, but often heart-wrenching - this is a play of genius. The production will emphasise the commercial nature of the setting. Our version of the play will be set in the 21st Century using the Venetian piazza as the centrepiece of the action of the play reflecting the role that the piazza plays in all aspects of Italian society: social, political, religious and commercial.