As the 2017 Bard on the Beach continues bringing Shakespeare to Vanier Park, a provocative, contemporary work, Shylock, joins the repertoire. Written by BC writer Mark Leiren-Young, Shylock plays on the Howard Family Stage until September 15th. The play premiered at Bard on the Beach in 1996 and has since been performed around the world to popular and critical acclaim.
Echoing current affairs, Sherry J. Yoon directs this explosive one-man monologue about censorship, racism and the role of theatre as a reflection of our own present-day attitudes and thoughts. Star Warren Kimmel, who is also playing Shylock in The Merchant of Venice on the Howard Family Stage. Within the play, Kimmel plays the character of Jon Davies, an actor and a Jew, condemned by his own community for his portrayal of the Jewish moneylender in a traditional production of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Davies uses his final post-show talkback to raise challenging questions about censorship in general and the political correctness of Merchant itself.
“Shylock was one of the first original works we presented at Bard, under the direction of John Juliani”, notes Christopher Gaze, Bard Artistic Director. “With our current staging of The Merchant of Venice, it’s the perfect time to bring Shylock back as a companion piece.”
Adds director Sherry J. Yoon, “Though Mark’s play was written over 20 years ago, Shylock seems more relevant today than ever. From the historical references in literature, to extremist views that have simultaneously polarized and united us, the irreverent humour in this work will resonate.” Leiren-Young, as is his practice whenever the piece is produced, has provided contemporary updates to help link the story directly to today’s political and social climate.
Shylock plays in repertory on the Howard Family Stage with The Merchant of Venice and The Two Gentlemen of Verona, from today until September 15th. Visit bardonthebeach.org for tickets and information