Shylock Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Theatre Tours International/ Assembly
Gareth Armstrong (Writer/Director)
Guy Masterson
Running time

Storytellers have always been our window on the past, the troubadours of history were welcomed at everybody’s door because of the news they carried. This is not the case with the Jews since the time of Christ.

Playing to an absolutely full house, Guy Masterson takes us on an amazing journey through the history of anti-semitism using the vehicle of Shakespeare’s Shylock and narrated by Tubal , Shylock’s only friend.

There are three main characters in this one man play, Shylock, Tubal and the actor. Who is Tubal? I hear you ask, as we all did. He proudly tells us he has only eight lines in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.  Masterson’s use of Tubal’s character as our guide through the history of the persecution of the Jews, is a masterclass in historical cameo’s from Pontius Pilate to Hitler, as well as introducing us to the famous actors who have emulated and portrayed Shylock over the centuries.

We are introduced to the pograms of the last millennium in Europe, but he also conveys to the audience the importance of the Shylock character which became synonymous with the gentile’s image of the wandering, avaricious Jew.

Masterson’s performance and understanding of the character brings us a new perspective to the injustice that the Jewish faith suffered at the hands of the European Christians.

It is cleverly written and superbly performed, even John Knox would have enjoyed it. If you seek perfection in theatre then this production has to be close to the best one man show at the festival.

Show times: 6-7,12-14,19-21,25-28 August, 15:45-17:00

Ticket prices: £11.50 - £14