Shakespeare’s great drama of mercy and manipulation, The Merchant of Venice, is to receive a striking new revival by theatre companies Poetic Justice Productions and Wolf Sister Productions when it is staged at the Drayton Arms Theatre this autumn. Book your tickets now!
The classic play, directed by Alex Pearson, runs at the Kensington venue from 1 to 19 October.
Antonio, a merchant, needs a loan. His friend, Bassanio, needs a rich wife in order to clear his debts. Portia, a wealthy heiress, is reduced to a prize that men must gamble for. Beneath the charmed surface, all are at risk and everyone needs a win. As for Shylock, the despised money-lender? All he wants is revenge, In a city run by greed, in the grip of carnival chaos, what price must you pay for love? Can you hope for justice in a society without tolerance? And for the outsider, is vengeance the closest he can get to winning?
400 years after it was first staged, The Merchant of Venice continues to trouble and challenge audiences with its world of prejudice and greed. This society is harsh and everyone in it is morally grey. But all are human, and Shakespeare skillfully manipulates our feelings about the antagonist; but can he ultimately succeed?
Ashley Gunstock, who may be best known for his years playing PC Robin Frank in The Bill, leads the cast as Shylock. He’s joined in the production by Dan Burman, Genie Kaminski, Kevin G Drury, Michael Skellern and Zoe Lambrakis.
Director Pearson has a wealth of experience creating productions for the London stage, where her credits include Oranges and Ink (Tristan Bates Theatre), Smashed Fruit (Jack Studio Theatre), Attack of the Giant Leeches (Etcetera Theatre) and Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing (all at The Rose Playhouse).
Writing about her production of Much Ado About Nothing, Female Arts said, in their five-star review, “Wow! What an absolute triumph”, while The Play’s The Thing said of Romeo and Juliet: “Director Alex Pearson insists on an explosive energy that cannily suits the impulsive, teen love affair within two dueling families.”
The creative team for The Merchant of Venice also includes set and costume designer Sorcha Corcoran and lighting designer Steve Lowe.
The Merchant of Venice runs at The Drayton Arms, 153 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington, London SW5 0LJ from 1 to 19 October 2019, with performances Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, matinees Saturday at 3pm. Tickets are priced £16. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
About Poetic Justice Productions
Poetic Justice Productions was established in 1999 with the aim of staging innovative and exciting productions of new and classic works. It celebrates equality and diversity in all its forms and ensures its productions reflect this. The company explores ways in which to inspire debate and challenge preconceived notions of the theatre experience, with a view to developing high-quality, ground-breaking works. It exists in order to create and stage theatre which is emotionally engaging, entertaining and stimulating for all.
About Wolf Sister Productions
Director/producer Alex Pearson and actor Genie Kaminski formed Wolf-Sister Productions in 2015 to stage bold productions of classical plays, focusing on clear storytelling and raw emotion. They make work that is fast-paced and cuts to the heart of the play’s meaning, making the characters and the text the stars, and seeking to bring out the central core of the drama and of each character, from riotous laughter and joy to tragedy, introspection and message.
Wolf Sister aims to make Shakespeare’s language more accessible and interpret familiar stories with fresh, innovative and imaginative insights. They ask, “What does Shakespeare mean to us today?”, and find ways to make the play alive and relevant for a modern-day audience. They are passionate about giving everyone a sense of not only ownership of classic plays, but also a hunger for more exposure to Shakespeare from a wider and more diverse audience.