Shakespeare in the City

“If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”

As part of our Broadgate Perspectives season, we’re bringing Shakespeare to the City on Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th October with FREE outdoor performances of The Merchant of Venice starting at 6.30pm.

To be set in Broadgate’s Exchange Square; see London Contemporary Theatre bring this lesser-known Shakespeare story of love, friendship, conflict and revenge alive.

For one hour expect to be fully immersed in this up close and personal performance with live music. Deckchairs are available on the lawn on a first come first served basis from 5.30pm. Wrap up warm but don’t worry, if it rains we have it covered; the show will go on...

Drinks and food can be purchased from Corney and Barrow in Exchange Square. Nestled next to our mini pop-up theatre they will be serving before, after and during the performance. 

Keep posted on Twitter for a chance to win VIP seats - comfy sofas and a complimentary drink and snacks are waiting for six lucky people each night. Follow @BroadgateLondon for more information. 

The Merchant of Venice 

The Merchant of Venice follows Antonio, a Venetian merchant and his friend Bassanio who is desperately in need of money to court Portia, a wealthy heiress who lives in the city of Belmont. Antonio and Bassanio approach Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, for a loan. Shylock nurses a long-standing grudge against Antonio, but acts agreeably and offers to lend Bassanio three thousand ducats with no interest. Shylock adds, however, that should the loan go unpaid, Shylock will be entitled to a pound of Antonio’s own flesh. In Belmont, Portia expresses sadness over the terms of her father’s will, which stipulates that she must marry the man who correctly chooses one of three caskets…join us to discover what happens next.

London Contemporary Theatre

Bringing classical theatre to a contemporary audience, London Contemporary Theatre creates exciting fast-paced Theatre and Radio Theatre. Their Shakespearian productions are contemporary, accessible for people of all ages and driven by music to give them a cinematic feel. They have just finished touring the UK with A Midsummer’s Night Dream and also have UK tours of Great Expectations and their renowned production of Macbeth; In Pitch Black out on the road throughout the autumn. 

Are you looking forward to seeing Shakespeare in the City? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook #BroadgatePerspectives

The Cast

Produced by Philip Ryder & Jonathan Ashby-Rock for London Contemporary Theatre
Directed By Nick Ricketts
Musically Directed By Jessica Tomlinson
Composed By Philip Ryder

Assistant Director – Lucy Grudniewicz
Production Manager - Ellie Muscutt
Movement Director – Nick Pack
Production Assistant – Veronica Sarno
Vocal Coach – Alex Rivers
Set Designer – Amelia Butcher
Set Construction – Mitchel Thorpe
Costume Designer – Erica Malcolmson

Shylock – William Harrison-Wallace
Portia – Claire Cartwright
Bassanio – Tom Crowley
Antonio / Salanio – Joshua Barton
Nerissa / Salarino – Alice Brittain
Gratiano / Gobbo / Tubal / Duke – Jonathan Ashby-Rock
Prince of Morocco / Prince of Arragon – Will Seaward
Messenger / Female Understudy- Amelia Butcher

Director’s Notes

"We present Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice in the modern day, drawing on the perfect location of Broadgate’s Exchange Square in the heart of London’s financial district. We place Shakespeare’s merchants and traders into an imagined present day financial centre, the Riatlo, and particularly focus on rival executives at a corporate superpower – Venice – specialising in high-risk trade. 

With our set we hope to reflect how different the cultural worlds are for the men and women at the beginning of the play. The men existing in a corporate world of glass and steel, while the women are initially placed in the qualitatively very foreign Belmont, Portia’s ancestral home. Both of these worlds exhibit very different sets of values and norms, and yet coexist in the world of the play and influence each other. Indeed, for the sake of our production, they coexist very tightly on the stage: drawing upon the redevelopment of EC1 and EC2 to explore how dramatically different cultures and lives coexist and interact within a single urban environment.

Central to this production is the idea of value: the emotional investment in a relationship, or the sentimental value of one’s home, nation, and history and the interaction with monetary value. What happens where a human life, and a marriage, and one’s race come to be seen in monetary terms? And can these different sorts of values ever truly be separate?"

Meet the Cast

Nick Ricketts - Director

Nick has previously directed London Contemporary Theatre’s Summer, open-air touring production of As You Like It – setting the Forest of Arden as a modern day music festival. His previous credits as an actor include: Walter Hartwright in The Woman in White (UK tour), Clive in Alan Aykebourne’s Season’s Greetings (UK tour), Haunted (UK tour), and A Christmas Carol (UK tour). He also played Alceste in London Contemporary Theatre’s production of The Misanthrope. Most recently, he provided the reading for a literary version of Desert Island Disks for the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, at The Althorp Literary Festival. Nick graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2011, where he read geography, was a member of The Footlights and The Marlowe Society.

Jessica Tomlinson - Musical Director

Jessica Tomlinson is currently in her third year at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance where she studies clarinet under Michael Whight. She plays an active role in university life, often performing with the orchestra as well as chamber groups and a function band.
Jessica also plays saxophone and piano which has led to her being involved in many musical productions. Musicals include City of Angels, Company, Oliver, The Wiz, Guys and Dolls, The Full Monty and Bugsy Malone. In 2012, she took part in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where she played in The Rat Pack Live and The Blues Brothers Live with producers Hartshorn Hook. Jessica has had the opportunity to play in some world renowned venues. These include The Royal Festival Hall, The Lowry and the M.E.N Arena. Performing has also taken her abroad where she played in an International Orchestra in Germany, made up of musicians from 50 different countries.
Jessica has been the Associate of Music with London Contemporary Theatre Company since 2012 and has enjoyed working on productions such as A Christmas Carol and She Stoops to Conquer.

William Harrison-Wallace

Various stage work includes: Richard III (UK Tour); The Water Engine (Old Vic Tunnels); View from the Bridge (Broadway Theatre, Catford); The Corruption of Dorian Gray (Lion and Unicorn); Peckham: The Soap Opera (Royal Court); Marriage (Brady Arts); Save Me (Union Theatre); A Respectable Wedding (Waterloo East Theatre); A Woman of No Importance (Clandon Park); Killing Kit (The Cockpit). 
He has appeared in several short films, and extensive voice work includes Radio, Animation, Corporate voiceovers, Museum Exhibitions and Various Narrations. Will trained at ALRA.

Claire Cartwright

Theatre credits include: Thark (Park Theatre), Orion’s Hat (Tristan Bates Theatre), Henna Night (Pleasance Theatre, London), The Alchemist (The White Bear), The Pitmen Painters (National Tour and West End), After Liverpool (The Unicorn Theatre).
Films include: Benny Loves You (Darkline Entertainment); Souljacker (Contrazoom Productions).
Short Films include: This is How it Ends, Holding Hands With Strangers, Perfect People. 
Voiceovers include: STEM In Development (Dir. Matthew Keen), VIP VIV (Learn to Read with Pip), William and Kate; a Fairytale Romance, Justin Bieber (Future Sight Entertainment).

Tom Crowley

Tom Crowley is a graduate of the King's Head Trainee Director Scheme and the Royal Court Young Writer's Programme. He has written for Radio 4's The News Quiz and Cartoon Network's BAFTA-winning The Amazing World of Gumball and is a member of comedy group Sad Faces, who recently launched their fortnightly podcast Sad Faces' Worst Case Scenario. He is developing his play Ghost City for a full production in January 2015 with his company Crowley & Co. His first play, Shed, is in development with director Bethany Pitts (Desert, Dark Vanilla Jungle). His previous involvement with London Contemporary Theatre includes performances in A Christmas Carol in the Dark, The Importance of Being Earnest, Hamlet: The Dark Hours and Alice in Wonderland as well as writing their modernised adaptation of Great Expectations, currently touring.

Joshua Barton

Joshua graduated from Arts University Bournemouth in June 2013 with a first class honours degree.
Credits include: The Importance of being Earnest (London Contemporary Theatre), Hamlet (London Contemporary Theatre), The Hardybutt's Boys (Little Giant Theatre Company), Peter Pan (Duck Egg Theatre Company), Short Film Waterfall (2013), Are You Being Served? (Lamproom Theatre Company), A View FromThe Bridge (Civic Theatre).
Theatre whilst training: Much Ado About Nothing, Cementville, Hobson in Hobson’s Choice, Petruchio in The Taming of The Shrew and Macheath in The Threepenny Opera.
Directing credits include Spring Awakening (The Lighthouse Theatre, Poole) and devised production Waiting for Godot (Pavillion Theatre, Bournemouth).

Alice Brittain

Alice Brittain trained at the National Youth Theatre and Arts University Bournemouth, graduating with a first class BA in Acting. Recent stage credits include a site-specific production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Pebbles Court), Ophelia in Hamlet The Dark Hours, Cecily Cardew in The Importance of Being Earnest and Alice in Wonderland with London Contemporary Theatre as part of their Spring Rep Season. Other theatre credits include A Christmas Carol (London Contemporary Theatre), Epic Stages (National Youth Theatre/Hackney Empire), Intruder (Theatro Technis) and South Deep to Blood Alley (Hoodwink Theatre Company/National Trust).
Theatre whilst training includes: Heloise in Howard Brenton’s In Extremis, Ranyevskaya in The Cherry Orchard and Valerie in Road (The Lighthouse Theatre) directed by Empty Space Peter Brook Award winner Gareth Corke. 

Jonathan Ashby-Rock

Training – Redroofs Theatre School
Previous credits include:

As a Director: Great Expectations, Treasure Island, Alice in Wonderland, A Christmas Carol; In The Dark, The Misanthrope, She Stoops To Conquer & A Christmas Carol (London Contemporary Theatre). Jack & The Beanstalk (Pyramid Pantomimes).

As an Actor: 
Theatre: Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream & Toby in Treasure Island (UK Tour), Claudius in Hamlet, Lane in The Importance of Being Earnest & Doormouse in Alice In Wonderland (Windsor Rep), Irwin in The History Boys (Wilde Theatre), Dame Trott in Jack & The Beanstalk (Leicester Pantomime), Jaques/Touchstone in As You Like It (UK Tour), Phileas Fogg in Around The Word In 80 Days (UK Tour), Syme in 1984 (UK Tour), Ratty in Wind In The Willows (Wilde Theatre), Smee in Peter Pan (Leicester Pantomime), The Boy in The Velveteen, Rabbit & Narrator in Greek Myths For Kids (UK Tour), Silvius in As You Like It & Burgundy in King Lear (The Space), Sir Backstabber in The Sword & The Dope (Kings Head & Greenwich Playhouse), Young Scrooge in A Christmas Carol (UK Tour), Maurice in Lord Of The Flies (UK Tour), Whit in Of Mice And Men (Brockley Jack), Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing (Windsor Globe), The Adoration Syndrome (The Horse), Aslan in The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe & Herb in Godspell (Wilde Theatre), Wanted Dead Or Alive, Hansel & Gretel & Red Riding Hood (Ascot Novello), Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs (Hull New Theatre).
Film: Josh in The Screaming Man, William Shakespeare in The Library, Martin in This Is Intercourse, Gavin in The Lights Twinkle Sometimes, Jake in Blind Spot, Noah in What Makes it Stick.
TV: McDonalds Christmas Commercial 2014, Spector Music Video, James Vincent McMorrow Music Video, You Me At Six Music Video, 10:10 Campaign Commercial, Don't Stop Believing, Cock n Bull Kid Music Video & Yes Cadets Music Video.
Radio: Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet, Fred in A Christmas Carol, Colin in The Secret Garden & Angus/Lennox in Macbeth (London Contemporary Theatre). Lloyds TSB Torchbearers Commercial.

As a Writer: Adaptations of Treasure Island, Alice In Wonderland, A Christmas Carol, Around The World In 80 Days for Stage & The Secret Garden and A Christmas Carol for Radio (London Contemporary Theatre) and 7 Deadly Sins a six part TV Drama (Picture Co.).

Got questions for our The Merchant of Venice cast? Tweet @LondonContemp