Cast announced for Stafford Festival Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

By Rebecca Stanley | Stafford | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

The cast has been announced for Stafford Festival Shakespeare's production of The Merchant Of Venice.

The Merchant of Venice

Eastenders and The Bill actor Linal Haft will take of the role of Shylock, while National Theatre of Scotland and Shaespeare Globe Theatre actress Jessica Hardwick will star as Portia.

They will be joined by Rhiannon Clements as Salarina, Nerissa as Christine Gomes, James McNaughton as Lorenzo, Paddy Navin as Saliana, Alastair Natkiel as Bassanio, Thom Perry as Antonia, Kate Roche as Lancelot Gobbo and Prince of Arragon, Isabella Rubin as Jessica, and Thomas Winter as Gratiano and Tubal.

Stafford Festival Shakespeare spokesperson, Jemma Harrison, says: “We have an incredible cast for this truly special production of The Merchant of Venice.

"All of us at Stafford Festival Shakespeare can’t wait to see this show develop into another stunning production.

"We have some amazing plans in store for audiences this summer so make sure you don’t miss it.”

In this new interpretation, Shakespeare's masterpiece is transported to 1950s New York, a city where communities are divided by wealth and religion. Featuring the iconic figure of Shylock, one of Shakespeare's most complex characters, The Merchant of Venice is a story of money, love, and prejudice.

Richard Goodman, producer and production manager, said, "This is the first time The Merchant of Venice has been presented here during the festival's 29 year history, giving the local community a chance to experience this play in Stafford.

"We are also improving the overall offer by investing in better facilities for our audiences upon arrival and during the interval."


"Although we are hoping for glorious sunshine like last summer, the audience will be sheltered under cover as usual, to protect them from any unseasonal weather."

The Merchant of Venice will open on June 27 and run until July 13 at Stafford Castle.

For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

Rebecca Stanley

By Rebecca Stanley

Entertainment journalist for Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Contact me:


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