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Star Trek’s Sir Patrick Stewart Stars In “The Merchant Of Venice”

Star Trek’s Sir Patrick Stewart Stars In “The Merchant Of Venice”

If you happen to be “across the pond” between now and September you will have the wonderful opportunity to see Sir Patrick Stewart perform at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, in a modern day production of “The Merchant of Venice”

The London Evening Standard describes the play thusly; Set in modern Las Vegas, it has the dash of Ocean's Eleven, the verve of Legally Blonde and a demented delightfulness all of its own. Yet it's still palpably Shakespeare's protean drama about racial intolerance and the dark side of capitalism.

Aside from an unexpected enthusiasm for golf, Patrick Stewart's Shylock seems a misfit in the tawdry society he inhabits. His power over others' imagination is increased by his insistence on sequestering himself from their excess - typified by clownish Launcelot Gobbo, here an Elvis impersonator, and Susannah Fielding's brilliant, sinister Portia, who is a contestant in a vacuous gameshow.

They go on to say; Shylock resembles a sophisticated venture capitalist, and exercises care in his use of both money and language. To this end Stewart points the speeches' repetitions and contrasts, highlighting the way Shylock's vocabulary is thick with idiosyncrasies that vex his enemies. Dignified and poised, Stewart conveys brusque business sense and angry alienation, but has also found space in the role for humanity.

If we hear of them bringing this play over to the states we’ll let you know. For now, we’ll just have to pick up some fish and chips from our favorite pub and imagine the awesomeness of Sir Patrick Stewart performing live, on stage.

Play info:
Royal Shakespeare Theatre 
Stratford-upon-Avon (United Kingdom)
Now through September 2011

(Source; The London Evening Standard )

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