Reflections on ‘The Merchant of Venice’

“I was surprised at the humour, and I especially liked the Prince of Aragon, who had a short yet memorable 10 minutes on stage. The other great thing about the play was that even the small periphery characters were convincing and, instead of being used as plot devices, were actually very believable characters. My favourite part of the play was how modern it was in the sense that it was the women who used their wits to save the day. Shakespeare was ahead of his time in the way that he broke stereotypes by having the women as the more intelligent characters.” Mei Law, Year 10

“I’ve never read the Merchant of Venice before, but I was excited to go to the play because there was a lot of hype around it. Going into it, I pretty much didn’t know anything about the play. But I kept my eyes glued to the stage the whole time. The actors were very passionate and they played their roles very well. I noticed a couple of ad-libs here and there which worked perfectly with the play. The actors really knew their material. The story was easy to understand as well, and I enjoyed it very much, even for someone like me that had no background knowledge on it at all. If there ever was a chance for me to go to a play like this again, I definitely would: it was a privilege!” Madison Lau, Year 12

“It was a fabulous experience and made my week. I have learnt so much from the performance and especially Jonathan Pryce”. Nicole Bloom, Year 9

“I really enjoyed the play; it was very gripping and interesting. I found that at the beginning it was a little hard to understand, however, I managed to follow the plot and learn the story. From research, it is usually performed as a serious play, but they added elements of comedy to the show, therefore making it more approachable for the audience. In conclusion, it was an amazing show!” Maya Rao, Year 11

“I think that going to the play was a enjoyable and educational experience. I especially enjoyed the end when they all came together in song. It really highlighted the passion in the performance”. Kaia Gower, Year 9

“The Merchant of Venice was great. It was long -two and a half hours- but it contained many fun (and possibly inappropriate) jokes throughout it. Yet, at the same time it also contained many scenes that really showed the greatness of Shakespeare and his work.  My favourite part of the play was when all three men visiting Portia (looking for her hand in marriage) went through many phases of choosing which box contained her sculpted face set by Portia’s father. It contained lots of comical gold and was the most entertaining part of the play. I would definitely recommend it to anybody that wants to see it in the future but I would advise them to have a good idea of the plot and characters”. Ben Swan, Year 9

“I had expected the play to be good, but I didn’t know I’d be so engrossed in it. The cast was very impressive, the well-known phrases fluently enunciated. The costumes were intricate and beautiful, as well as the set. What I liked most about the performance was the chorus and musical performances, especially during the last part, where Shylock was converted into a Christian. The music was very powerful, and fully enriched the atmosphere of the scene. Good show!” Karen Wong, Year 12

“I really enjoyed the play; it helped me understand Shakespeare a bit more andI think it will be really useful for me in drama since we are currently studying the play Measure for Measure by Shakespeare . The only part that startled me was how they treated the Jews, and that Antonio got away nicely even though he wasn’t such a good man either. Even though I had to re read the synopsis a couple of times , I found it very enjoyable!” Polina Chelpanova, Year 9