Friday, May 14, 2004

Lady who is not shy

Popular Northern Broadsides are at Richmond's Georgian Theatre Royal for the week from Tuesday with Shakespeare's gripping drama, The Merchant Of Venice.

Barrie Rutter directs and plays Shylock in a production that many claim is closer to Shakespeare's original intentions than many more feted productions.

Barrie, the artistic director and founder of the company, has brought together a cast of 15 that includes Claire Calbraith alias Dr Summerbee in TV's Heartbeat as Portia and Richard Standing as Bassanio.

"This is one of Shakespeare's most enduring plays and also a play for our time as Shakespeare evokes a world dominated by money, and populated by questionable characters," says the Georgian's Laura Hannaway. "It eloquently challenges racial stereotypes in a way that is timeless and topical as Christian and Jew are locked in a bitter racial hatred which escalates to tragic proportions."

The production also features live music on stage and acapella singing.

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