I should probably start this post off by explaining how I ended up seeing The Merchant of Venice for the first time - you see, I didn't just book a ticket and turn up! Let's start from the beginning...
In around April, my English teacher mentioned to me and my friend Hester that the school would be running a trip to see a production of The Merchant of Venice at the RSC in Stratford Upon Avon, however the trip would only be for Years 10 and up. He did, however, promise us that if there was any space left when the deadline came around, we could go! So a few weeks went by, and then we were told that, unfortunately, all of the tickets the school had had been sold to older students, and therefore Hester and I were unable to go. Obviously I was hugely disappointed, but there wasn't anything I could do about it so I just got on with my life and forgot about it... Until one day, in early July, the teacher came up to our form room and told us that two 6th formers had dropped out, so if we wanted to we could go, but there was a catch! (*sigh* there's always a catch!) The trip was that evening! A couple of hours of running around later, we were sitting on a bench in the sunshine, outside the RSC!
Since studying my first Shakespeare play in Year 7, I've always had a weird love for his plays, especially comedies, (although who could turn down a bit of Romeo and Juliet?!) , so to say no to a trip to the RSC would be like not attending my own wedding!
Let's get onto the play itself! The set was like nothing I had ever seen before, and at first I wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not, but by the end of the play I'd decided that I loved it! All it consisted of was coppery coloured mirrors making up the floor and backdrop, and a giant pendulum, which got pushed about 10 minutes in and just kept swinging. I'm still not sure how I feel about the pendulum - it didn't seem to represent any element of the play, so to me it felt very irrelevant and almost distracting to the audience. I'm a little bit in love with Patsy Ferran, who played Portia - she was absolutely phenomenal! Why that girl hasn't been The Doctor's Companion yet is a mystery to me!
The entire show was just electrifying - I believe it's finished now, but the RSC usually bring out DVDs of most of their shows, so at some point I imagine they'll be available at http://www.rsc.org.uk/shop/category/e23c4cb0-951d-46a5-91ac-b7ece81c43cd/