The Merchant of Venice

Directed by Fiona Walsh
Performed in St Enda's Park, Rathfarnham, Wednesday 21 June to Saturday 24 June 2017

Setting the stage for Summer Shakespeare in St Enda's Park

The Merchant of Venice
Under the shade of a tree in the beautiful gardens of St Enda's Park, the members of Balally Players brought 'The Merchant of Venice' to life'.

 

One of Shakespeare's most popular plays was performed this summer in the grounds of St Enda's Park, Rathfarnham by Balally Players. From the evening of Wednesday 21 June up to and including Saturday 24 June the play was performed at 8pm each evening.

The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice was originally classified as a comedy, but today it is considered to be more of a serious drama, if not as ‘heavy’ as some of Shakespeare’s other weighty plays. Its structure and tone do indeed follow the style of some of Shakespeare's other plays that lean more in the direction of comedy and romance. However, Shylock’s famous speech, "Hath not a Jew eyes?", and Portia’s views on "the quality of mercy" get it noted more for some serious social commentary when it lands on modern ears.

The cost of pursuing the wealthy Venetian heiress, Portia, requires young Bassanio to apply for a loan from his friend Antonio, a merchant in Venice. Antonio's money is tied up in his fleet of trading ships, currently on the high seas, so he goes to the Jewish money lender, Shylock. Antonio’s anti-Semitic behaviour leaves little room for favour in the deal and provides the backdrop for the dark terms and conditions applied to the loan by Shylock. The loan must be repaid in three months or Shylock will exact a pound of flesh from Antonio. The ever confident Antonio agrees, believing (rashly as it turns out) that his ships will return home before repayment of the loan falls due. What falls from that, is the stuff of one of Shakespeare's most entertaining plays.

Balally Players took Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice' to St. Enda’s Park Grange Road, Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin for its Summer Shakespeare 2017 presentation.

The play, directed by Fiona Walsh, was performed outdoors in the Walled Garden, St. Enda’s Park from 21 to 24 June 2017.

The Merchant of Venice
Cast and crew of 'The Merchant of Venice' preparing for the dress rehearsal on 20 June 2017 in St Enda's Park, Rathfarnham.

 

St Enda's Park is home to the Pearse Museum, which is housed where Patrick Pearse lived and ran his innovative Irish-speaking school, Scoil Éanna, between 1910-16.

The Merchant of Venice
The Pearse Museum in St End'as Park, Rathfarnham. Photograph: Declan Brennan

 

 

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Photographs taken by Declan Brennan at the dress rehearsal on 20 June 2017.

 


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The Merchant of Venice - cast take a bow Cast of 'The Merchant of Venice' take a bow at the dress rehearsal – 20 June 2017.