The Merchant of Venice | Cambridge Battery, Point Pleasant Park | Theatre | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

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Margaret Legere as Portia and Ben Irvine as Bassanio
Margaret Legere as Portia and Ben Irvine as Bassanio

The Merchant of Venice

With its uncomfortably disturbing racism, The Merchant of Venice is not my favourite play. But that being said, I can name several things I really enjoyed about the SBTS production: 1) Margaret Legere’s wonderfully lucid portrayal of Portia. Legere charms as the sweet and frustrated object of desire and shines as Portia in disguise as the intelligent, humane young lawyer. 2) Paul Rainville’s masterful performance as Shylock. His Shylock is a living, breathing man, not likeable but understandable. 3) The gorgeous costumes by Cathleen McCormack. Long gone are SBTS’s costumes-on-a-shoestring pool noodle and Gap bag days (Although they had a certain charm). Not all theatre needs to be comfortable, and I appreciate Shakespeare by the Sea for staging challenging and provocative work. —Kate Watson

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