The Merchant of Venice (1994): West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
PrThe Merchant of Venice (1994)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Michael Cashman (Antonio); Richard Lintern (Bassanio); Nicola McAuliffe (Portia); Gary Waldhorn (Shylock).
This production ran from 11 March - 23 April 1994.
"This is a magnificent production, clear, perceptive, mature, hard as iron and deeply forgiving. This is true forgiveness: it is given at a price and with the full knowledge of what is being forgiven. Jude Kelly interprets this difficult work as a play about repressions." ~ John Peter, Sunday Times, 20 March 1994
"Jude Kelly's staging keeps taking you by surprise, pushing hard against preconceptions, sending you back to re-examine the text. In this Act V, Shylock is by no means forgotten. This garden scene - the play is set circa 1920 - starts to come close to the garden of the Finzi-Contis, a temporary idyll which will soon be invaded. For Portia, remember, has married a man who, like his friends, is blatantly anti-Semitic. She has learnt to practise the quality of mercy of which she spoke, as has Lorenzo. It is, however, by no means certain that their new enlightenment will prevail over Bassanio, Antonio, Salerio and Solanio. But racial prejudice is only one theme in this play, which has undercurrents this staging hoists into the light. Above all, it retells the tale of Portia." ~ Alastair Macaulay, "Portia put into a new perspective", Financial Times, 26 March 1994