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Open air Shakespeare play comes to the Villa Marina Gardens

Friday, 25 August 2023

A new open air theatre experience will take place in the Villa Marina Gardens this summer.

1950s open air theater crowd photographed from the back courtesy of iMuseumThe Villa Marina Gardens has played host to outdoor performances in the past where traditional deckchairs were common place, however open air theatre performances have not taken place in recent times.

In a collaboration between VillaGaiety and local company Parodos Theatre, William Shakespeare’s classic ‘The Merchant of Venice’ will open on 7 September.

The play tells the story of Antonio, the Merchant of Venice, who lends money to his friend Bassanio to help him court Portia of Belmont. Antonio borrows the money from Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, who agrees to lend the money on the condition that failure to repay the loan will entitle Shylock to a pound of Antonio’s flesh.

Director of Parodos Theatre, Charlie Williams, said:

‘The themes of The Merchant of Venice are, unfortunately in many ways, still as relevant today as they were when it was first performed. We are staging a play in which it is difficult to find characters without flaws and whose actions expose the complexities of human nature and prejudice.  Yet alongside this, the play explores moments of humour, romance and levity that will be brought forth by our fabulous cast in the wonderful Villa Marina Gardens.’

William Shakespeare’s classic ‘The Merchant of Venice’ rehearsal at Villa Gaiety - Photo by Parodos Theatre

Audiences are invited to embrace the outdoors and bring along rugs, blankets and chairs to enjoy the late summer evening on the grass, and a bar service will be available before and during the interval of each performance.

Head of Culture and Arts, Sarah Wilson-White, said:

‘As part of our year-round programme of shows and events, we are looking to develop the outdoor offering during Spring and Summer. This production is a great way to explore new ideas, and we’re very excited about this collaboration with Parodos Theatre.’

Tickets are available online from the VillaGaiety website, in person at the VillaGaiety Box Office or Welcome Centre, or by calling +44 1624 60055.

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