McEnery is Shylock

Published April 17, 2008

Shakespeare’s Globe regular John McEnery returns to the venue this summer to take on the role of Jewish moneylender Shylock in Shakespeare’s The Merchant Of Venice, which runs from 2 June-6 October (press night 12 June).

McEnery’s previous appearances at Shakespeare’s Globe include Pericles, Henry V, As You Like It, A Chaste Maid In Cheapside, A Mad World My Masters, Antony And Cleopatra, King Lear, Richard II, Edward II and Romeo And Juliet. For the National he has appeared in Love’s Labour’s Lost, As You Like It, H and Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead. His Shakespearean credentials are extended to film, where he featured in Franco Zefferelli’s Hamlet and Romeo And Juliet. Over the years his many television credits include Silent Witness, Dalziel And Pascoe, Boon, Tess Of The D’Urbervilles and The Buddha Of Suburbia.

McEnery is joined in The Merchant Of Venice by Michelle Duncan, who makes her Shakespeare’s Globe debut playing Portia. Duncan has several regional theatre credits to her name and has forged a film and television career through roles in Sugar Rush, Sea Of Souls, Dr Who, Whatever Love Means (playing Princess Diana) and the soon-to-be-released film Atonement.

The rest of the cast of The Merchant Of Venice comprises 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.

Directed by Rebecca Gatward (The Canterbury Tales, The Indian Boy), The Merchant Of Venice is one of Shakespeare’s most controversial and dramatic plays. Bassanio borrows money from his friend Antonio to woo the wealthy heiress Portia. Antonio, in turn, borrows it from moneylender Shylock. But when Antonio’s ships fail to come in and he is unable to pay his debt, Shylock is determined to have his bond – a pound of Antonio’s flesh.

CB