The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare


I will not hear thee speak; I’ll have my bond.

Portia, a wealthy heiress of Belmont, is forced to set her suitors a challenge. The winner will win her hand in marriage; the losers will lose her hand and much more. In Venice, the epicentre of consumption, speculation and debt, Bassanio borrows money from his friend Antonio to finance his attempt. Antonio, in turn, takes out a loan from the moneylender Shylock. The loan will be repaid when Antonio’s ships return to the city. But if the ships fail to return, and the money cannot be repaid, Antonio will give to Shylock a pound of his own flesh. And they do fail. And Shylock will have his ‘bond’.

In some of his most highly-charged scenes, Shakespeare dramatises the competing claims of tolerance and intolerance, religious law and civil society, justice and mercy; while in the character of Shylock he created one of the most memorable outsiders in all theatre.

Double Olivier and Tony award winner Jonathan Pryce plays Shylock in his first appearance at Shakespeare’s Globe.


‘Jonathan Pryce as Shylock and his daughter, Phoebe… an inspiration. It’s a family affair – a double star turn.’
The Observer

‘Jonathan Munby’s exceptionally well-told, well-played, well-paced, well-dressed revival… The Globe at its best.’
The Mail on Sunday

‘A finely balanced, intelligent production.’
The Times

‘Jonathan Pryce is electrifyingly good… Jonathan Munby’s production really sings.’
Time Out

‘Jonathan Pryce, making his Globe debut, presents us with a Shylock of weight, gravity and considerable complexity.’
The Guardian

‘Director Jonathan Munby…extracts maximum comedy. He gives full weight to the romance, with Daniel Lapine and David Sturzaker excellent as the Venetian young bloods.’
Sunday Express

‘Jonathan Munby’s oak-solid, finely weighted production… The lighter and darker elements combine in a seamless whole.’
The Telegraph

‘Jonathan Munby’s clear-headed production.’
The Independent

‘Plaudits must go to Rachel Pickup who plays a sharp, charming and humorous Portia.’

‘Jonathan Pryce displays a finely textured Shylock.’
Financial Times

‘Pryce is excellent, with a notable gravitas and richness of performance. There’s particularly lovely work from Dorothea Myer-Bennett as Nerissa… she offers a delicious range of expressive looks and gestures.’
Evening Standard

‘A revival that boasts a fine Bassanio in Daniel Lapaine and re-focuses the role of Gratiano (David Sturzaker) as a really good one.’

Directed by: Jonathan Munby

Designer: Mike Britton

Composer: Jules Maxwell

Choreographer: Lucy Hind

Cast: Stefan Adegbola, Michael Bertenshaw, Philip Cox, Scott Karim, Ben Lamb, Daniel Lapaine, Christopher Logan, Dominic Mafham, Brian Martin, Dorothea Myer-Bennett, Regé-Jean Page, Rachel Pickup, Jonathan Pryce, Phoebe Pryce, David Sturzaker

Running time: Approximately 2hrs 45mins including one interval. Recorded at Shakespeare's Globe 2015.