Antonio, an ambitious merchant, needs a loan. His friend, Bassanio, needs a rich wife in order to clear his debts. Portia, a wealthy heiress, is reduced to a prize that men must gamble for. Beneath the golden surface, everyone's at risk, and everyone needs a win. As for Shylock, the down-trodden money-lender? All he wants is revenge.
In a city run by greed, in the grip of carnival chaos, what price must you pay for love? Can you hope for justice in a society without tolerance? And for the outsider, is vengeance the closest he can get to winning?
From the team that brought you a ‘spunky, ferocious’ Romeo and Juliet at The Rose Playhouse, Bankside comes Shakespeare’s darkest comedy. 400 years later, the play continues to trouble and challenge us with its world of prejudice and greed. This world is harsh, and everyone in it is morally grey. But everyone is human, and the antagonist is the most human and most moving character of all.