note: For many years "The Merchant..." has been
produced and played in a very biased way. For an equal
number of years, this has made me cross. In tonight's
production I have returned to the text of the play and
tried to truthfully present what Shakespeare was writing
about - which side, if either, are the baddies and which
In the interests of clarity, and particularly of the play's running time, I have had to make some fairly extensive cuts. In addition, some parts are 'doubled' and some have been 'stitched' together to make two into one. There has also been a rather delightful, gentler change in one particular role! If any of your favourite bits are missing, my apologies - but something had to go.
Finally, my thanks to all the cast and staff who have worked amazingly hard to get the show together.
The action takes place over several months in and around the streets of Venice and in and around the country estate of Belmont.
|The Duke of Venice||Ian Uprichard|
|The Prince of Morocco||Ian Uprichard|
|The Prince of Arragon||Chris Hudson|
|Shylock||Peter M Elrington (understudied by Hugh Dower)|
|Lorenzo||Simon R Price|
|Leonado - servant of Bassanio||Luke Downend|
|Balthasar - servant of Portia||Paul Burge|
|Stephanie - servant of Portia||Anna Fulton|
|Launcelot Gobbo||Nigel Dring|
|Old Dame Gobbo||Sheila Buckthorp|
|Clerk to the Court||Rebecca Pavia|
|Stage Manager||Marion Plenderleith|
|Stage Crew||Pauline Uprichard & Karen Hunter|
|Set Decorations||David Broughton, Alan Micklethwaite & Carrie Simpson|
|Set Construction||Graham Davidson, Simon R Price, Hugh Dower & David Broughton|
|Special Props||Graham Davidson, Simon R Price & Nigel Dring|
|Continuity||Charlotte Broughton & Lynn Chapman|
|Box Office||Vicki Makin|
|Poster, T-Shirt and Programme Cover Design||Diana Elrington|
|Publicity||Mary Davidson, Ruth Andrews, Marjorie Blatherwick, Hugh Dower, Joy Walker, Ted Warner & Graham Davidson|
|Merchants, Antonio and Bassanio played by Tim Bradford and Keith Rylands-Bolton|
'tis a picture of the fool"
Chris Hudson struggles not to corpse as he finds himself looking at his own image due to a photo switch on the last night!
"It's terrible mate, it's really awful! The ships, it's the ships, mate. They've all crashed!"
Nigel Dring understudies for Salerio but stuggles to stick to the words that Shakespeare had intended for the role!
|Nigel Dring as Launcelot Gobbo and Lara Tomlinson as Jessica|
|Blind Dame Gobbo (Sheila Buckthorp) greets her son Launcelot (Nigel Dring).|
|Thanks to Lara Tomlinson for the photographs|