The Merchant of Venice
Royal Shakespeare Company (2009)
Director Tim Carroll
Lighting design by Jon Clarke
Photography by Hugo Glendinning
This Merchant was entirely stripped of context, with an ambiguous abstract design inspired by fairy tales and Paula Rego. The red of the auditorium continued onto our floor, and the gallery level extended to wrap around the perimeter of the stage.
The whole installation was clad in a skin like a velvet-lined box, but stained all over with spillages: water? wine? blood? tears?
Portia’s palace was veiled with ice drapery and the caskets were blocks of ice that duly shattered.
“The stunning set design by Laura Hopkins is totally in keeping with the stage direction by Tim Carroll. Carroll uses the set to great dramatic effect, at times completely ignoring the accepted rules of direction.”