The Merchant Of Venice

Bell Shakespeare The Merchant Of Venice Mitchell ButelIn her first production with Bell Shakespeare, acclaimed theatre director Anne-Louise Sarks will present a new, contemporary production of the Shakespeare classic, The Merchant Of Venice at Arts Centre Melbourne from 19 July 2017, followed by a national tour around Australia.

Money makes the world go around. Portia has it. Bassanio wants it. Shylock lends it. Antonio owes the value of it. Love also plays a part. Portia offers it. Bassanio wants it. And Antonio may lose a pound of flesh for it.

Featuring three-time Helpmann Award Winner, Mitchell Butel (Janet King and Rake) as the defiant Shylock, and Jessica Tovey (Wolf Creek and Wonderland) as Portia, this uncompromising production explores the tense relationship and prejudices between those that have, and those that don’t.

Dark in its humour and bawdy in its romantic hijinks, The Merchant Of Venice takes audiences on a journey of love, mercy and justice. More than 400 years after it was written, the taut line between religious law or secular society, righteousness or compassion, tolerance or hate, is still present today.

“We are thrilled to welcome Anne-Louise Sarks to the Company and look forward to watching her at the helm of our national tour, presenting The Merchant Of Venice to 27 venues around Australia,” said Bell Shakespeare’s Artistic Director, Peter Evans. “We are committed to producing timeless and borderless works and I cannot wait to see what Anne-Louise Sarks does with our second production for 2017.”

Anne-Louise Sarks is an award-winning artist, working professionally as an actor, writer, director and dramaturg. This is her first production with Bell Shakespeare. Her previous directing credits include Jasper Jones, Seventeen, Elektra / Orestes, Nora, Medea, A Christmas Carol, and Stories I Want To Tell You In Person for Belvoir.

Anne-Louise also directed The Fiery Maze for Malthouse Theatre / Sydney Festival; Minnie and Liraz and The Seed for Melbourne Theatre Company. She was resident Director at Belvoir 2013-2015, Director in Residence at the Malthouse Theatre Company in Melbourne, and was Artistic Director of The Hayloft Project from 2010-2013.

Director: Anne-Louise Sarks Featuring: Fayssal Bazzi, Mitchell Butel, Catherine Davies, Eugene Gilfedder, Felicity McKay, Shiv Palekar, Damien Strouthos, Jessica Tovey, Jo Turner, Jacob Warner Set & Costume Designer: Michael Hankin Lighting Designer: Paul Jackson Composer & Sound Designer: Max Lyandvert Voice Coach: Jess Chambers Dramaturg: Benedict Hardie

The Merchant Of Venice
Fairfax Studio – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 20 – 30 July 2017

For more information and national tour schedule, visit: for details.

Image:Mitchell Butel stars as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice (supplied)