Plays Directory : The Merchant Of Venice

The information below is intended to give you a brief guide to the show and highlight some of the other The Mandy Network members who have also been involved in this show.

  • Author
    William Shakespeare
  • Setting
    Venice
  • Overview
    The play opens in 16th century Venice where we find that Portia, a rich lady of Belmont has been left to her fathers dying wish, that she must marry the man who chooses correctly from three caskets, the one containing her portrait. Bassanio, young, reckless and heavily in debt due to his lifestyle is set upon marrying Portia. However the clause in entering this lucky dip for her heart is that her suitors must pay three thousand ducats to enter. Bassanio asks his friend Antonio for a loan, he is a wealthy sea merchant but all his money is locked up in merchandise at sea. Thus the pair visit Jewish money lender Shylock. Shylock is a man forced to live in the ghettos, a lifetime of persecution perhaps explain his conduct. As much as Antonio is a figure of honour and generosity, Shylock becomes a figure of resentent and their opposition surpasses this when we discover that Antonio has been making interest free loans hence damaging Shylocks business. Shylock sees his chance for revenge and agrees to make the loan, interest free but suggests a bond in which Antonio must forfeit a pound of flesh if it is not repaid within three months. Antonio is confident that the repayment will be made and despite Bassanios concerns agrees to the terms.
    Bassanio travels to Belmont with his friend Gratiano and chooses from the right casket. Both he and Portia are overjoyed and as Gratiano falls in love with Portias maid, Nerissa the picture is completed. The men are given a ring each that they must keep safe until they return for their double wedding.
    Meanwhile Shylocks hatred is sealed when he learns that his daughter has eloped with Lorenzo, a Christian and friend of Antonio’s, stealing as much from her father as they could before fleeing. Shylocks only comfort comes when he hears that Antonio’s ships have been wrecked and therefore the bond has been forfeited. Shylock rejects all offers of settlement, demanding his pound of flesh and the case goes to court. Portia disguises herself as a doctor of law and examines the contract. She states that Shylock may take his pound of flesh from Antonio but may not draw blood as this is not part of the agreement. Shylock knows that this is an impossibility and leaves the court a broken man. The only payment that Portia asks for her services is that of the rings that Bassanio and Gratiano are carrying, which they reluctantly give.
    When he two men return to Belmont Portia playfully asks for the return of her ring and when Bassanio attempts to explain his loss she produces it from her pocket revealing her masquerade. The foursome reunite and we learn that Antonio’s ships have returned safely. The group rejoice in their fortune.

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11 known characters

16 known roles


Connected mandy members:

Leanne Hoffman
2017, Solanio
Max Sterne
Max Sterne
Actor
2014, Solanio
Carolyn English
2013, Solanio
Peterborough Central Park
John Pickett
John Pickett
Actor
2013, Solanio
Worcester Cathedral
Axel Canas
Axel Canas
Actor
2012, Solanio
Spain
Danielle Spittle
2012, Solanio
A.E. Harris
Juanita Mora
Juanita Mora
Actor
2011, Solanio
Philip Honeywell
2010, Solanio
Camden People's Theatre
William Heslop
2010, Solanio
Queen Mary University of London
Alexander Sowerby
2009, Solanio
L.S.D.A
Jenet Le Lacheur
2008, Solanio
Market Square, Guernsey
Richard Unwin
2008, Solanio
Greenwich Playhouse
Christopher David-Williams
2005, Solanio
Bellairs Playhouse, Guildford
Rosemary Tross
2004, Solanio
National Arts Centre (Canada)
Ieuan Rhys
Ieuan Rhys
Actor
2004, Solanio
Ieuan Rhys
Ieuan Rhys
Actor
2003, Solanio
Paul Coldrick
2001, Solanio
Millfield Theatre
Sarah Kent
Sarah Kent
Actor
1996, Solanio
Unity Theatre, Liverpool.

Alternative Names

Adaptation of The Merchant of Venice, A Merchant of Venice, Merchant Of Venice, The Merchant of Venice (abridged)