2006: The Merchant of Venice

This was our second production of this perennially popular play, which we first presented in 1998.

The play is classified as a Comedy but it has a dark centre.  It is set in a society characterised by sharply divided social, political and religious beliefs, attitudes and morals.  The Christian establishment in Venice at that time is portrayed as decadent and self-indulgent.  The Jewish community is ghettoised, discriminated against and despised, which fuels resentment, bitterness and an almost fundamentalist antagonism towards established society.

This antagonism is personified in the relationship between Shylock and Antonio – Shylock's reasonable resentment over the treatment of his race and person having warped into something dark and corrosive – we sought to bring out the bright light and dark shades of these contrasts.