Thursday, 13 October 2016

Theatre 2016: Review Twenty-Nine

The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare's Globe, London. October 2016.

I saw this last year and reviewed it very favourably here. In fact by the end of the year it was in my Top 10 plays of 2015, this time I was with Rebecca and my mum - the former missed it through illness last year and after I raved about it so much mum decided she wanted to see it after all!

However as I loved it so much I was a little scared that it was a mistake to see such a great production a second time...

I needn't have worried as from the very start I was straight back in the Venetian world and wrapped up in the story.  Once more my sympathies moved from character to character and the antisemitism is still as shocking, especially the ending.

What I did notice this time around was the less overt antisemitism. Portia might accept Jessica into her house as Lorenzo's wife but she is always treated with disdain, scorn and is never an equal of the others.  The little looks and actions felt, in some ways, worse than the ending to me - far scarier that is for certain, at least the treatment of Shylock is visible and easy to call out...

By the end the three of us were moved to tears, and yet at times we'd been helpless with laughter.  If there had been tickets left I'd have gone to see this again. As it is I treated myself to the DVD from the shop and can't wait to watch it again.

I think that this will once more end up in my top 10 of the year!

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