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Full cast announced for Merchant 36 premiere

The full cast has been announced for Merchant 36, the radical new interpretation of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, which comes to HOME Manchester in the spring (March 15-25).

Joining previously announced Tracy-Ann Oberman as Shylock, award-winning Shakespearean actress Hannah Morrish will play Portia after being involved in workshop development of the project at the RSC earlier this year alongside similarly-experienced actor Raymond Coulthard, who also joins the cast as Antonio.

Championing recent graduates and rising stars, Grainne Dromgoole, Priyank Morjaria and Xavier Starr join the team, all acting graduates in the last three years. Completing the cast are Adam Buchanan and Jessica Dennis.

By presenting Shylock as a woman and placing the action in London in 1936, the production offers insight into a dark chapter in British history. Fascism is sweeping across Europe and Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists threatens a paramilitary march through the Jewish East End where Shylock, a widowed survivor of anti-Semitic pogroms in Russia, hopes to give her daughter Jessica a better life.

Director Brigid Larmour said "We have direct links with the history we explore in the production. Members of Tracy-Ann’s family took part in the East End Battle of Cable Street. A relative of Adam’s witnessed it from an upstairs window at the age of five and Jessica’s grandmother was briefly arrested for ‘plot to treason’ in Germany in the 1930s.”

A joint production with Watford Palace Theatre, Merchant 36 runs at the London venue February 27-March 11 before moving to Manchester.

More info and tickets here


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