The Merchant of Venice (1984): Chichester Festival Theatre
PrThe Merchant of Venice (1984)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Alec Guinness (Shylock); Joanna McCallum (Portia); David Yelland (Bassanio).
This production ran from 9 July - 21 September 1984.
"Pamela Howard's designs at least establish that we are in Renaissance Italy: and in the Venetian scenes we stare at a brick wall inscription telling us that in this 'civilised republic' any Jews found outside the ghetto after curfew will be arrested. But any hopes that this might lead to a tragic, tortured Shylock (in the tradition of Macklin and Kean) are quickly dashed by Guinness, who offers us a clinical, small-scale portrait of a vaguely aggrieved usurer....Only two performances aside from Guinness's Shylock escape the pervailing [sic] blandness. One, in fact, is Burt Caesar's Prince of Morocco, massively dignified in white silk." ~ Michael Billington, The Guardian, 13 July 1984