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:

Gabriella Aila
2019, Portia
Vanessa Borrini
Vanessa Borrini
Voice Over: Italian
2018, Portia
Bella Martinez
Bella Martinez
Child Actor
2018, Portia
Theatre Royal Winchester
Laura Trosser
2018, Portia
Downing College, Cambridge
Victoria Shepherd
2018, Portia
Cannizaro Park, Wimbledon
Lauren O'Leary
2018, Portia
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
Corrina Buchan
2018, Portia
Rebecca Jones
2017, Portia
Academy of Live and Recorded Arts
Victoria Hudson-Muir
2017, Portia
Anna Dekowski
2017, Portia
ALRA
Gabin Kongolo
2017, Portia
Meg Bennett
Meg Bennett
Actor
2017, Portia
Charlie Ives
Charlie Ives
Actor
2017, Portia
Zoe David
Zoe David
Actor
2017, Portia
Stanley Park
Katy Sirr
Katy Sirr
Actor
2017, Portia
Vanessa Borrini
2017, Portia
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
Alexandra Parker
2017, Portia
Highdown Gardens, Worthing
Abigail Clay
Abigail Clay
Actor
2017, Portia
ALRA Theatre
Ella Bliss
Ella Bliss
Actor
2017, Portia
Molly Wheaton
2016, Portia

Alternative Names

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