Shakespeare In Paradise "Merchant"

Shakespeare In Paradise Merchant

Friday 5th October 2012  11:00 AM

Shakespeare In Paradise is pleased to announce the first two productions for its fourth annual Theatre Festival, Opening October 5th and running through October 13th, 2012.

COB Performing Arts Centre

Merchant, a tragicomedy (originally titled The Merchant of Venice) by William Shakespeare, is believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598. Though classified as a comedy in the First Folio and sharing certain aspects with Shakespeare’s other romantic comedies, the play is perhaps most remembered for its dramatic scenes, and is best known for ‘Shylock’ and the famous “Hath not a Jew eyes” speech, or in our production “Hath not a Haitian eyes”. Also notable is the speech by ‘Portia’ about the “quality of mercy”. For this production, the play has been edited and updated by director Gordon Mills.

The title character is the merchant ‘Antonio’, not the Haitian numbers runner ‘Shylock’, who is the play’s most prominent and most famous character.

The cast for this production of Merchant is a follows:

Shylock – Rudy Levarity
Bassanio – Chigozie Ijeoma
Gratiano – Matthew Wildgoose
Antonio – Keith McConnell
Tubal – Bernard Petit
Belladona – Amala Madueke
Launcelot – Otis Forbes
Lorenzo – Giovanni Stuart
Portia – Jovanna Hepburn
Nerissa – Patrice Francis
Jessica – Stacey Stubbs
Attorney General – Jane Poveromo

This play is directed by Gordon Mills who is assisted by Erin Knowles.

Our signature Shakespeare production, simply titled Merchant, is Shakespeare’s classic Merchant of Venice, adapted for a 21st century Bahamian setting. Shylock is a Haitian numbers-runner in this tale of prejudice, greed and justice. The work has been specially imagined for the Bahamian landscape by Gordon Mills, who also directs.

Our signature Bahamian production is An Evening of Two One-Acts by Jeanne Thompson. The renowned author of The Fergusons of Farm Road and numerous plays for the stage returns with a new play, Back of the Moon, set in the New Providence of the 1950s, that heady era leading up to majority rule. A feisty domestic servant accuses her boss, a white English minister of religion, of fathering her child, and attempts to enlist the middle class black community to back her in her cause. The play is a window into a bygone Bahamian era. Father’s Day, Thompson’s classic study of a Bahamian man navigating his relationships with his wife and two sweethearts, rounds out the evening.

Shakespeare In Paradise will also salute our Caribbean neighbours Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago on their 50th anniversary of Independence, and will offer a work from each nation. Other local works are also in development, including an exciting historical docudrama. You can expect to hear a lot more from us as we announce audition dates for all of the shows being directed by Shakespeare In Paradise directors and we will let you know how you can become involved in the festival, either as a performer, a backstage worker, front of house or many of the other areas where volunteers would be needed throughout the festival.

You can find out more information, get in touch with us or keep up to date with what’s going on with the festival online at these various sites:

Shakespeare In Paradise Official Site:

YouTube: ShakespeareParadise:


Twitter: shakesparadise:

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