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Shakespeare in the City - The Merchant of Venice



Preview by Jack Foley

SHAKESPEARE'S classic tale of justice and mercy, greed and love, The Merchant of Venice, is thoroughly updated in this shortened, slick and stylish adaptation by SEDOS drama group.

With the action condensed to one act, and a champagne reception, this is Shakespeare for the busy City worker.

The play follows the fortunes of Bassanio, a feckless young man, who asks his wealthy friend, the merchant Antonio, for money to finance a trip to woo the beautiful Portia in Belmont.

Reluctant to refuse his friend, Antonio borrows the money from the Jewish moneylender, Shylock.

But if he reneges on the deal, Shylock jokingly demands a pound of his flesh.

When all Antonio's ships are lost at sea, Shylock calls in his debt, and the love and laughter of the first scenes of the play threaten to give way to death and tragedy.

The final climactic courtroom scene, complete with a cross-dressed Portia, a knife-wielding Shylock, and the debate on 'the quality of mercy' is one of the great dramatic moments in Shakespeare.

The controversial subject matter of the play ensures that it continues to repel, divide but also fascinate its many audiences.

SEDOS, the City-based non-professional drama group, which is celebrating its centenary this year (2005), is delighted to be taking this production on tour to various City institutions.

The proceeds of each night will be donated to the charities associated with the respective venues.

With a cast and production crew of City employees, from city firms such as Accenture, Allen & Overy, Bank of New York, Booz Allen Hamilton, Farrer & Co., Herbert Smith, Merrill Lynch, Richards Butler and Royal Bank of Scotland, this venture goes to the very heart of SEDOS’s objectives of taking high-quality, affordable drama to those working in the Square Mile, while fundraising for charities.

Touring Production: May 9 - 13, 2005 at The Museum of London, Swiss Re, ABN Amro, London Stock Exchange and Merrill Lynch.
Director: Rebecca Smith
Cast: Andy Blacksell, Tom Brennan, Daniel Chasemore, Darren Clarke, William Harrison-Wallace, Kate Mayo, James Newall, Duncan Sanders, Luke Simonds, Georgina Thompson, Kelly Tinkler

Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice
May 9 - The Museum of London,
London Wall, London, EC2Y 5HN
Sponsored by the Bank of New York (Proceeds will go to Richard House)

May 12 - London Stock Exchange,
10 Paternoster Square, London, EC4M 7LS (Proceeds will go to Brainwave)

Performances at Swiss Re, ABN Amro and Merrill Lynch are for employees only.

Email: boxoffice@sedos.co.uk
Tel: 07904 191092.

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