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Blue Mountains News
Bell Shakespeare at The Joan
It’s hard to imagine a world without Shakespeare. For centuries, his plays and sonnets have travelled the globe. Whether you love or loathe the Bard there’s no denying his place as one of the greatest writers in the English language.
Bell Shakespeare – one of the world’s foremost producers of Shakespeare’s work – turn convention on its head and takes audiences to surprising places in this politically charged, modern day interpretation of one of his most challenging and best-known plays – The Merchant of Venice, directed by Anne- Louise Sarks (Belvoir’s Jasper Jones and Medea).
The Merchant of Venice deals with issues of culture and religion but wraps it up in comedy. Dark in its humour and bawdy in its hijinks, The Merchant of Venice will take you on a journey of love, mercy, revenge and justice as it explores the tense relationship and prejudices between those who have, and those who don’t.
Money makes the world go around. Portia has it. Shylock lends it and the cheerful, love-struck Bassanio wants it so uses his good friend Antonio’s credit line to secure it. Love also plays a part. Portia offers it. Bassanio wants it. And Antonio may lose a pound of flesh for it. It’s a dark tale, with Bassanio’s actions setting in motion a chain of events that result in human flesh becoming a bargaining tool and everything around him falling to pieces.
Featuring three-time Helpmann Award winner, Mitchell Butel (Janet King and Rake) as the defiant Shylock, a man beaten down through constant abuse; Jessica Tovey (Wolf Creek and Wonderland), commanding as Portia, a woman conflicted for being denied the right to choose a husband; and Damien Strouthos as the eternal optimist Bassiano, the stereotypical character in love who doesn’t see anything going wrong until it’s happened.
This production is diverting and challenging, and it is impossible not to compare the bigotry in this play with current socio-political situations. - Herald Sun
Bell Shakespeare’s new production under the inspired direction of Anne-Louise Sarks is a brilliant, illuminating, dramatically compelling interpretation in which the comic and tragic are perfectly balanced. It has made me see the play anew. ★★★★★ Australian Book review
Bell Shakespeare’s latest offering is sure to be the crowd pleaser that audiences have come to expect from the trail blazing theatre company. Arts Hub
The Merchant of Venice - Bell Shakespeare
6th and 7th October 2017
Friday 6 October 7:30pm
Saturday 7 October 2:00pm & 7:30pm
2 hours and 20 minutes includes interval. Age suitability: 13+ years
Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre is located at 597 High Street, Penrith
- $65 standard and $60 Concession
- To book call The Joan’s Box Office on 4723-7600 or online.
This article archived 23 Oct 2017
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