Man Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson brings his singular brilliance to this modern reimagining of one of Shakespeare's most unforgettable characters: Shylock.
Winter, a cemetery, Shylock. In this provocative and profound interpretation of The Merchant of Venice, Shylock is juxtaposed against his present-day counterpart in the character of art dealer and conflicted father Simon Strulovitch. With characteristic irony, Jacobson presents Shylock as a man of incisive wit and passion, concerned still with questions of identity, parenthood, anti-Semitism, and revenge. While Strulovich struggles to reconcile himself to his daughter Beatrice's "betrayal" of her family and heritage - as she is carried away by the excitement of Manchester high society and into the arms of a footballer notorious for giving a Nazi salute on the field - Shylock alternates grief for his beloved wife with rage against his own daughter's rejection of her Jewish upbringing.
Culminating in a shocking twist on Shylock's demand for the infamous pound of flesh, Jacobson's insightful retelling examines contemporary, acutely relevant questions of Jewish identity while maintaining a poignant sympathy for its characters and a genuine spiritual kinship with its antecedent - a drama that Jacobson himself considers to be "the most troubling of Shakespeare's plays for anyone, but, for an English novelist who happens to be Jewish, also the most challenging".
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Far beyond expectations
- Gypsy Girl
I didn't read the print version.
I have listened to all available Michael Kitchen performances and this is up to his usual high standard.