We saw the show at its first outing in Stratford. The flashy glitz divided critics, and with its big production numbers, Elvis impersonator, and American accents, this is most certainly not Shakespeare at its most traditional. While we thought that the subtleties of Shakespeare's iambic pentameter were somewhat lost in the attempts at American accents (some convincing, others am-dram), we were impressed by the way in which the Vegas theme shed new light on the play's themes. Portia’s casket scenes are presented as a game show, giving her speech to Bassanio about artifice and the revelation of one’s true self a whole new, and utterly believable, dimension.
Genuine risk-taking in Shakespearean adaptations is rare, and we are very glad that this bold production is getting a second life in London. If you're a Shakespeare purist, steer clear, but if you fancy something little more experimental this an eye-opening adaptation.
|What||The Merchant of Venice, Almeida|
|Where||Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street, Islington, London, N1 1TA | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
05 Dec 14 – 14 Feb 15, 7:30 PM – 10:20 PM
|Website||Click here for more information and to book via the Almeida|