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The highly acclaimed revival stars 'Game of Thrones' actor Jonathan Pryce and runs July 27 - 30 in D.C. It continues to Chicago in August, China in September, and back to Shakespeare's Globe in October. The international tour will end fittingly in Venice, Italy.

Theater Preview (DC): Shakespeare’s Globe Brings ‘The Merchant of Venice’ with Jonathan Pryce to the Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater will host five special performances of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice from July 27 through 30 in Washington, D.C. The production, directed by Jonathan Munby, stars Jonathan Pryce CBE (Wolf Hall, Game of Thrones) as moneylender Shylock. I reached out to the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts to learn more about this leg of the Globe Theatre on Tour.

Photo of Phoebe Pryce and Jonathan Pryce
Phoebe Pryce as Jessica and Jonathan Pryce as Shylock in ‘The Merchant of Venice.’ Credit: Manuel Harlan.

“The range and depth to which Shakespeare’s works have influenced storytelling throughout the ages is what makes his original works so timeless,” said Robert Van Leer, Senior Vice President of Artistic Planning. “His prose reflects themes and messages that are still relevant to our society today, such as the strong familial bond forged between father and daughter at the very heart of The Merchant of Venice.”

Mr. Van Leer added, “To bring this critically acclaimed production of one of his most powerful works to life on the Kennedy Center stage, in partnership with Shakespeare’s Globe, in London, feels like such a fitting tribute the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and his lasting literary legacy.”

In The Merchant of Venice, wealthy merchant Antonio (Dominic Mafham) takes out a loan from Shylock with a peculiar condition: If he fails to repay the money, he’ll have to pay with a literal pound of his flesh. When Antonio’s venture is unsuccessful, Shylock arrives to claim his “bond.” The cast also features Stefan Adegbola (Lancelot), Christopher Logan (Arragon/Stephano), Brian Martin (Salarino), Rachel Pickup (Portia), and Phoebe Pryce (Jessica).

The production came to New York City last week in its U.S. debut and garnered positive reviews there. Jonathan Pryce, a two-time recipient of both the Tony and Olivier Awards, is likely to amaze D.C. audiences with his portrayal of the complex antagonist Shylock this week. Mr. Van Leer discussed the father-daughter relationship as an important theme of the play, yet there is another intriguing aspect to note. Phoebe Pryce, Jonathan Pryce’s real-life daughter, plays the role of Jessica, Shylock’s daughter.

Following the limited run in D.C., the Globe Theatre on Tour continues to Chicago in August, China in September, and back to Shakespeare’s Globe in October. After London in October, the international tour will end fittingly in Venice, Italy.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is located at 2700 F Street, NW in Washington, D.C. Tickets are available online or by calling (800) 444-1324.

 

About Pat Cuadros

Pat Cuadros earned a B.A. in Art History on a full scholarship at the University of Virginia. Pat is a frequent reviewer of all things Washington, D.C., but she's also covered events in Canada and London. Highlights in her work include articles on Ian McKellen and Mark Rylance, as well as memorable interviews with Lawrence Gowan of Styx, Tony Bennett, and Kiefer Sutherland. At Awesome Con 2017, Pat moderated a Q&A for voice actors Sean Schemmel and Christopher Sabat.

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One comment

  1. Thanks for this discussion, i heared this story at the time of my schoolings. Then now i got remembered. This is the very wonderful story of the Shakespeare. All the story of Shakespeare is really awesome. My suggestion is want to bring Shakespeare’s story as visual.