‘Shylock’: Shakespeare’s Jew portrayed on stage
BEAVER CREEK – A veteran performer with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Gareth Armstrong has enlivened some of Shakespeare’s least understood characters to audiences around the globe. “Shylock,” Armstrong’s daring one-person play explores the strange, turbulent life of literature’s most famous Jewish character. Examining the changing perceptions over the past 400 years of the memorable and controversial character from “The Merchant of Venice,” Armstrong’s “Shylock” is told from the point of view of Shylock’s friend Tubal, the only other Jewish character in Shakespeare’s work, and filtered through the lens of centuries of anti-Semitism. During the solo performance, Gareth Armstrong conjures up the playwright, the players, the passions and the enduring prejudice from Pontius Pilate to Adolf Hitler, from Dracula to the Wandering Jew. “Shylock” explores Jewish history, European history, the history of theatre and the history of the role of Shylock.
London’s Independent on Sunday writes, “Armstrong presents Shylock’s bitterness as a product of persecution, conveyed here with such innovation, delight and energy. It is an exceptional piece of theatre. Everyone should see it.”Shakespeare has taken Gareth Armstrong to more than 30 countries as an actor, director and teacher, and he has played roles ranging from Puck to Richard III, from Andrew Aguecheek to Macbeth. Armstrong is an associate director of the American based A.C.T.E.R. Company, he records commentaries and voice-overs for films and is a frequent broadcaster with the BBC.
Understanding Shakespeare”Shylock” Starring Gareth Armstrong7:30 p.m. Thursday
Vilar Center for the Arts in Beaver CreekVail, Colorado