Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Merchant of Venice

Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch
23 April 2012

Shylock is bear-like,
all beard and smile,
but holding his own
with intractable guile.

Nubile Portia is nymph-like
and cool,
a sweet, spoiled heiress
who won’t bear a fool;

but she wins as the doctor
in smart, sober suit,
and is more than a match
for the men in the court.

There’s a lovely, soft moment
of quiet commune,
in the gardens at Belmont
beneath a full moon,

and the music that plays there
is haunting and sweet,
giving pause to a play
that is run off its feet.

The boys are all daring
in ‘80s excess,
they are party-prepared
and dressed up to impress.

The caskets are brilliant,
a moment of fun
to sum up a production
that won’t be undone,

though it struggles with modern day theory
and thought,
yet it pulls it off gamely
with singing and sport.

Josie Taylor as Portia, Matt Devitt as Shylock

The Merchant of Venice plays until 12 May at the Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch

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