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  One of the UK's largest community run theatres

T.A.O.D.S. Present a Summer Spectacular

The Merchant of Venice
by William Shakespeare

Wednesday 20th - 23rd June 2018

Shakespeare's Classic Tragi-Romantic-Comedy comes to the Hippodrome stage, Summer 2018. Directed by Liz Holland who gave us the highly acclaimed A Midsummer Night's Dream in 2015

A Debt

Antonio, the Merchant of Venice, lends three thousand ducats to his friend Bassanio in order to assist him in his wooing of the wealthy and beautiful Portia of Belmont, an estate some distance from Venice.

Antonio's own money is tied up in business ventures that depend on the safe return of his ships from sea, so he borrows the money from Shylock, a Jewish moneylender whom he has previously insulted for his high rates of interest.

Shylock lends the money against a bond. Failure to repay the loan on the agreed date will entitle Shylock to a pound of Antonio's flesh.

A Marriage

Portia's father has decreed that she will marry whichever suitor makes the correct choice when presented with three caskets, made of gold, silver and lead.

Where wealthy suitors from Morocco and Aragon fail, Bassanio succeeds by choosing lead. His friend Gratiano marries Portia's lady-in-waiting Nerissa at the same time.

News arrives that Antonio's ships have been lost; he is unable to pay his debt.

A Trial
Shylock's claim to his pound of flesh is heard in the law court before the duke.

Unknown to their husbands, Portia disguises herself as a young male lawyer acting on behalf of Antonio, Nerissa as a clerk.

Portia argues that Shylock is entitled to his pound of flesh but not to spill any of Antonio's blood. She also says that the Jew should forfeit his life for having conspired against the life of a Venetian.