You spat on me.

The Venetians borrow Shylock's money, and they hate him for it. They hate him for his wealth, for his success, and because he is a Jew.

You called me dog.

The Venetians have stolen Shylock's money, and they have stolen Shylock's daughter. They have taken everything from him, and they expect him to bow, to cower, to know his place. But Shylock has had enough.

I will have the heart of him.

Shylock is going to cut out the heart of the most powerful man in Venice. He is going to make them watch. There is nothing they can do to stop him.

What they need is a girl in a false moustache.

The Merchant of Venice

a love story with a sting in the tale

For our second show, BDTC took on one of Shakespeare's problem plays. Despite it's popularity, Merchant is a play packed with difficulties - a play about love, but also about hatred, cruelty and above all, about greed.

BDTC tackled these issues head on, posing a challenge to racist and misogynist readings of the text. Rob Cattell played Shylock as a quiet, dignified man provoked by extraordinary and sustained abuse into a blood-curdling but nevertheless understandeable vendetta, and the Lancashire Evening Post praised his "strong, sensitive performance." Sammi Searle gave Portia the vibrancy and energy that the text demands, making her a woman entirely in control of her own destiny.

Merchant brought a raft of new faces for BDTC and featured more of the music that made RICHARD such a success. In a first for BDTC, director Paul Sellwood also played the role of Antonio. This led to a new promise in the BDTC manifesto: no more actor/directors...

Aliki Chapple - Salerio

Iain Black - Gratiano

James Ward - Bassanio

Mike Reffold - Lorenzo

Rachael Hunt - Nerissa

Ruth Gregson - Old Gobbo / Duke / Tubal

Directed by Paul Sellwood

Harry Egan - Launcelot / Prince of Arragon

Karen Fortin - Jessica / Solanio

Matt Saint - Prince of Morocco

Paul Sellwood - Antonio

Rob Cattell - Shylock

Sammi Searle - Portia

Merchant of Venice photographs by John Shepherd.

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