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Event Series Event Series: Exploring Shakespeare

Exploring Shakespeare’s Comedies: The Merchant of Venice

February 24 @ 14:00

Exploring Shakespeare’s Comedies: The Merchant of Venice

*** Due to high demand for tickets, a repeat of this session will run on Sunday, March 3rd, 2.00-5.00 ***

A participatory study session, led by Clare Smout, exploring the story, themes and stagings of one of Shakespeare’s most morally challenging comedies, The Merchant of Venice. The merchant Antonio borrows a vast sum of money from his enemy Shylock, in order to help his best friend woo an heiress, Portia. However, when Antonio is unexpectedly unable to repay the money in time, Shylock demands the agreed penalty of a pound of his flesh. The play ends in a gripping court scene in which only Portia’s quick-witted intervention saves Antonio’s life.

This three-hour event will start with an introductory talk, followed by group discussion and video clips from a variety of productions. After a break for coffee and cake, we will end with a group examination of key sections of the play, enabling enable deeper appreciation of Shakespeare’s theatrical craftsmanship. This event is suitable for those aged 18 and over.
This is the second in a series of three afternoon sessions. Come to all of them or just one.
Saturday, January 20th – Exploring Shakespeare’s Comedies: Much Ado About Nothing
Saturday, February 24th – Exploring Shakespeare’s Comedies: The Merchant of Venice
Sunday, March 3rd – Exploring Shakespeare’s Comedies: The Merchant of Venice (repeat session)
Saturday, March 30th – Exploring Shakespeare’s Comedies: The Winter’s Tale
Clare Smout is a locally-based Shakespeare specialist with a passion for sharing her enthusiasm for theatre. Having started as a theatre director and script doctor, she moved sideways into academic work and has taught Shakespeare to students of all ages, from primary and secondary school to university students to adult learners, including fifteen years lecturing at the University of Birmingham and as a guest tutor at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education. For further information, please contact Clare Smout on shakespeare.courses@smout.org.


February 24
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Studio Two