#Fullcast announced for #brandnew 6 character version 'A Merchant of Venice'

#BillAlexander's adaptation that will run @ThePlayground Theatre W10 6RQ from November 10th - December 4th 2021

Mary Chater 0 1424

Full casting was announced on September 21st -


#Brandnew 6 character version called 'A Merchant of Venice' adapted and directed by #Bill Alexander

Our #first production opens at The Playground Theatre, Latimer Road, London W10 on November 10th - #savethedate - more info v soon

Mary Chater 0 1427

One can get obsessed with a particular work of art and I confess that obsession is the only way to describe my relationship to The Merchant of Venice. I have directed it twice professionally (the RSC and Birmingham Rep), twice at drama schools (LAMDA and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School) and taught and lectured on it often. When working on select scenes with students at the London Drama Studio (Ealing) it began to occur to me that there was an inner play about a small network of relationships that was the core of the bigger play that wrestles with huge themes of Justice and Mercy, Marriage and Money, Race and Class, and it is this inner core, essentially about the tortured nature of Love, that my production for Shakespeare in Italy will focus on.
Antonio loves Bassanio in a tortured way because he struggles to understand the true nature of his feelings and has no idea either how to express them or whether they will ever be reciprocated. Bassanio loves Portia but is tortured by how real that is when weighed against his desperate need of her money to repay his debts to a man he also loves, Antonio! Portia loves Bassanio but is tortured by the terms of her dead father's bizarre will that dictates her marital future turns on the outcome of a crazy-seeming lottery. The conversation of the lovers before Bassanio makes his choice turns around the metaphor of them both being on the rack, the Elizabethan torturers instrument of choice. Shylocks torture, apart from his foul treatment by the Christians of Venice, is the death of his adored wife Leah and the duplicity of his daughter. My version of the play, which I have called A Merchant of Venice, excludes much that is well known, to focus on just six key characters whose entangled loves, desires and fortunes hinge on better understanding of themselves and their relation to each other in the blackly comic world of a modern Venice, the sublime and terrible Serenissima.
Bill Alexander

#TheMerchantofVenice #Portia #Shylock #Antonio #Bassanio #Gratiano + #newcharacter #Venice #merchantventurers #laserenissima #shakespeare
#AssociateArtist #RSCHonoraryAssociateArtist

#ArtsCouncilEngland funded #free #summerschool for 14 - 18 yr olds in #Brighton August 31 - September 3

The Apples and Eyes Project features filmmaking, acting, music and games sessions in Racehill Community Orchard, top of Wilson Avenue

Mary Chater 0 2067

We are delighted to announce that through a unique partnership we have been successful in winning a grant from Arts Council England for a free four-day summer school in East Brighton for 14 - 18 year olds. It will give young people the opportunity to play and have fun with film-making, drama and music to explore an orchard environment.
The Apples and Eyes Project will take place in Racehill Community Orchard at the top of Wilson Avenue and be led by an experienced team of actors and practitioners from the Shakespeare in Italy Theatre Company, alongside the Trust for Developing Communities and Brighton Permaculture Trust.
The natural world was a driving force of Shakespeare’s imagination. His plays abound with references to nature. Oberon, the king of the fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream instructs Puck to drop a love potion in Demetrius' eyes:

‘Flower of this purple dye,
Hit with Cupid’s archery,
Sink in apple of his eye’.

“We are thrilled to be working on this project in Brighton, which we hope will be the first of many. Young people will be assisted to use their creative, dramatic skills in a natural setting, encouraging them to explore the transformative powers of both and to have fun in the process,” said actress Mary Chater who devised the project and is one of the founders of Shakespeare in Italy.

Youth Work Manager Caroline Vitta for the Trust for Developing Communities in East Brighton, is looking forward to taking part: “The trust is excited to be involved in this great project for young people at the Racehill Community Orchard. East Brighton has a strong community arts base and the partnership can build on this by giving young people the opportunity to get involved in film making, music and drama in really beautiful surroundings whilst being supported by the fantastic Shakespeare in Italy Theatre Company.”

Bryn Thomas, Director of Brighton Permaculture Trust said: “I am delighted that this project is taking place at Racehill Community Orchard, giving local young people a chance to connect to nature and explore the space in a creative way. In practical terms, it will also help us towards fitting solar electric lighting in our cabin and tools store and to install rainwater harvesting for watering the orchard trees.”

TO JOIN THE SUMMER SCHOOL AND FOR MORE INFO, please email Caroline Vitta -

#youngpeople #14-18yrolds #summerschool #orchard #naturalworld #filmmaking #brightonandhove #brighton #permaculture #organicgrowingtechniques #biodiversity #sustainability #StanmerOrganics #solarelectriclighting #brightonpermaculturetrust