Shakespeare’s Globe has postponed the press night for its new production of The Merchant Of Venice, which was scheduled for tomorrow, until 28 June, due to the “indisposition” of cast member Michelle Duncan.
The actress, who was making her Globe debut as Portia and had been playing the role in previews, left the cast on Friday 8 June due to “unforeseen circumstances”, which, says the Globe, relate to a personal matter rather than her performance in the production. The press night has been postponed to allow the part to be re-cast, though performances are continuing.
Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole commented: “We are all extremely proud of Rebecca Gatward’s imaginative and exciting production of The Merchant of Venice – and were greatly enjoying Michelle Duncan’s performance as Portia. However due to her sudden indisposition, she is sadly no longer with the company. We have taken the decision to delay the press night to find a replacement for the role, which has already been delighting audiences in preview.”
The new Portia will join Globe regular John McEnery as Shylock, the Jewish moneylender who demands a pound of flesh from Antonio after he fails to repay his debt. The rest of the cast is Kirsty Besterman, Philip Bird, Cornelius Booth, Jim Bywater, Philip Cumbus, Leander Deeny, Craig Gazey, Adam Kay, Pippa Nixon, Chris Obi, Dale Rapley, Mark Rice-Oxley and Nicholas Shaw.
The Merchant Of Venice runs until 6 October.