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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: October ::
Bollywood Merchant Adaptation
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0672  Tuesday, 9 October 2007

From: 		David Kathman <
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Date: 		Monday, 8 Oct 2007 23:49:36 -0500
Subject: 	Bollywood Merchant Adaptation

Today's Chicago Tribune has a glowingly positive review by Chris Jones 
of a new play called "Merchant on Venice," making its world premiere at 
the Silk Road Theater in downtown Chicago and playing through November 
4.  The title of the review is "Bold 'Merchant on Venice' melds Bard, 
Bollywood," and here are the first two paragraphs:


Shylock becomes an alienated Muslim trapped in a Southern Californian 
world of immigrant, movie-loving Hindus. Jessica runs away to Hollywood. 
To snag Portia's hand in marriage, suitors have to pick the right DVD. 
And that famous pound of flesh? In Shishir Kurup's remarkable 
polycultural deconstruction of William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of 
Venice," the owner of the Money Store wants to make his extraction from 
a most delicate part of the male anatomy.

This hip-hop influenced script somehow fuses references to Jim Morrison, 
Helen of Troy, Vladimir Nabokov, Leif Garrett (!) and Freddie  Mercury, 
even as it translates events in the troubled original with  astonishing 
precision. And everyone still speaks in blank verse.


Later in the review, Jones writes that "If Kurup could somehow get his 
script, say, in the hands of the right person at the Royal Shakespeare 
Company, this play might actually help that company better reflect the 
world in which they (and Shakespeare) now operate."

The full review is online here:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/stage/chi-ovn_1008veniceoct08,1,5420236.story

Dave Kathman

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