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Merchant of Venice

Date

23rd March 2018

Society

Lindley Players Ltd

Venue

Whitsable Players

Type of Production

Play

Director

Roy Drinkwater

Report

Author: Gordon Harris

I will not pretend I’m an aficionado of Shakespeare because I’m not. I have seen a few professional ones in the past, and the Lindley players ‘Merchant’ certainly comes up to a professional standard.A great workable set design by Tim Hinchcliffe, Super props Wendy Selgrove and some nice lighting by Lucie Nash.Let’s be honest, The Merchant of Venice is not an easy play to produce or even to attend. Is it a romantic comedy with venomous racism hidden in its centre? Or is it melodramatic ethnic hatred run rampant, which happens to have a series of love plots swirling around in it. I would imagine some productions would downplay the racism, others boost the romance, but Roy Drinkwater had the intelligence and honesty to largely play it as it lays.

How can I single out any of the actors on stage, (some playing two parts in disguise) or begin to describe them in any form. I am humbled by all for taking on such a task and pulling it off to a very high standard. I do not know enough about ‘Shakespeare’ so please excuse me, BUT I do know something about acting, and to me this was exceptional in all areas. Roy Drinkwater, directing and playing Antonio is a feat in itself, but he gathered a tremendous cast of very competent actors and not one disappointed.Thank you Lindley Players for educating me a little more and I look forward to my next ‘Shakespeare’. I came away from the Playhouse all inspired.