The Shakespeare readings begin on Sunday 7 April at 2:00pm in the Gregory Street Playhouse Foyer and usually last about a couple of hours. The readings will continue on Sunday 22 April. And, as an added bonus, there will be light refreshments, sometimes in the shape of a chocolate cake!
‘The Merchant of Venice’ is thought to have been written between 1596 and 1599, which makes it a contemporary play of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, BTP’s first production of the year which closed two weeks ago. Indeed some of the lines seem similar. Egeus’ line, ‘I beg the law, the law upon his head’, is eerily familiar with Shylock’s line, ‘my deeds upon my head. I crave the law’.
The Merchant of Venice is perhaps best known for the character of Shylock and the famous ‘hath not a Jew eyes?’ speech on humanity. Also notable is Portia’s speech about ‘the quality of mercy’.