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The Merchant of Venice (Lincoln Center Festival)

From 25 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Great staging, Thought-provoking

About the show

The Lincoln Center Festival presents the Shakespeare's Globe production of the Bard's classic problem play, starring two-time Tony winner Jonathan Price as Shylock. More…

'The Merchant of Venice' has proved to be one of Shakespeare’s most challenging plays to transpose to modern tastes. Bawdy humor and romantic high jinks coexist with difficult questions of tolerance and intolerance, religious law and civil society, justice, and mercy. In the role of Shylock—as famous for his merciless insistence that a debt be repaid with 'a pound of flesh' as for his trenchant speech that asks, 'If you prick us, do we not bleed?'—Pryce enacts a highly sympathetic portrayal of the Jewish moneylender, at once a vengeful tyrant and a piteous, persecuted outcast.

Member Reviews (25)


Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Great staging, Thought-provoking
Avg Score

Difficult play, Serviceable production

See it if you want to hear WS well-spoken. A solid production, but unexciting. If you need MOV for your bucketlist, a good opportunity. Great costumes

Don't see it if you dislike audience participation (house lites kept on low). Bad case of nepotism w/ Phoebe Pryce. Difficult plot to make effective.

Intelligent, Relevant, Great acting, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if You like decent English actors speaking Shakespeare, traditional setting with traditional costumes, fan of the High Sparrow,

Don't see it if You expect dazzling, innovative staging, want more than adequate acting, an evening that never catches fire, community-accepted antisemitism

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Relevant to today's world

See it if you want to see a spectacular performance by Jonathan Pryce. Not everyone in the cast is up to his level of performance. Stunning staging.

Don't see it if you are not a fan of Shakespeare. Or if you don't like classical drama that resonates in today's world.

Great acting, Great writing, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if M of V presented by a group of actors dedicated to his plays - Shakespeare's Globe; Jonathan Pryce as Shylock;original music and dance

Don't see it if Abuse of Jews in plays upsets you; You cannot follow Elizabethian dialogue and syntax; You think that Shakepeare's plays are dull and boring

Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Classic, Underwhelming

See it if you're a great admirer of Shakespeare, want to enjoy the feeling of a traditional Renaissance Globe experience, or love Jonathan Pryce.

Don't see it if you dislike altered endings of classic plays, are sensitive to harsh depictions of Jews, have trouble understanding Elizabethan English.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Intense

See it if Jonathan Pryce

Don't see it if Cast were all above average but few others were exceptional

Great acting, Powerful ending, Discomfiting, Masterful, Relevant

See it if You're looking for a top-notch version of this problem play. Price makes Shylock understandable; his final scene is terrible and poignant

Don't see it if You dislike Shakespeare (this is a long one); you're sensitive to blatant anti-Semitism (of its time, but still uncomfortable)

Great acting, Resonant, Absorbing, Great writing, Masterful

See it if you like excellently performed Shakespeare in a mostly traditional staging.

Don't see it if you've seen the play too many times already or if you have no interest in Shakespeare.

Must see, Intelligent, Profound, Great staging, Relevant

See it if u wish a strong prod., a great Shylock & a chance to make sense of this difficult play. It's worth your 3 hours and the cost. Venue is good.

Don't see it if u can't be bothered, only willing to pay for perfection, have no patience, no love of verse. Has 3 brilliant scenes, set is effective, dark.

Great acting, Great writing, Masterful

See it if You love Shakespeare and, specifically, "The Merchant of Venice." This is a masterful production, brilliantly acted.

Don't see it if You don't like Shakespeare.

Great acting, Great writing, Masterful, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a masterful portrayal of Shylock and a play that is all too relevant today. The humor is played up, so you will laugh, too.

Don't see it if you want your heroes and villains to be clear cut. No one is 100% likable or unlikable in this version.

Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Great staging, Exquisite

See it if You enjoy Shakespeare performed by the world's best company, love the character of Portia, are open to a play that in part reflects its age

Don't see it if You are determined to see the play as biased rather than exploring stereotypes, or you hate Shakespeare

Absorbing, Great acting

See it if Well directed, well acted, well mounted. A uniformly fine production---excellent Jonathan Pryce.

Don't see it if Shakespeare is not your interest.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Profound

See it if You like Shakespeare and enjoy examining human relationships

Don't see it if You don't like Shakespeare

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Absorbing

See it if I might be a tad biased cause I know some cast members but I thought this production was amazing and very relevant to our political climate

Don't see it if you don't like the play itself and don't like Shakespeare done in time period costume/set/music. J.Pryce and cast were stunning though

Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if You like Shakespeare problem plays, Jonathan Pryce, updating a classic, outstanding production values.

Don't see it if You don't like nearly 3 hour Shakespeare plays, anti-semitism as a theme, updating of a classic.

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Epic

See it if You like extremely competent British Shakespeare, want to see the comedic side of Merchant brought out without losing the pathos.

Don't see it if You think the whole play should be dark because of its main theme. You don't like audience participation or breaking the 4th wall.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Ambitious, Thought-provoking

See it if a well staged performance of this challenging play

Don't see it if the themes are upsetting to you.

Clever, Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you want to see an exquisite show.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy the Bard's plays.

Clever, Great acting, Refreshing, Intelligent, Great staging

See it if you like THEATRE not social commentary. Shakespeare intelligently played without trying to be High brow. Flexible set, flexible approach

Don't see it if You think Shakespeare Holy Scripture, not be tampered with; if you think Shylock is a tragic character, if you don't have a sense of humor

Riveting, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Clever, Profound

See it if You love Shakespeare and language and want to see a masterful performance from Jonathan Pryce as Shylock.

Don't see it if Vivid depictions of awful anti-Semitism are going to be too upsetting for you.


See it if You have never seen this play before

Don't see it if Just don't waste your time and money

Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Funny, Edgy, Relevant

See it if you love shakespeare, and want to see a new twist to Merchant of Venice.

Don't see it if religion is a touchy subject for you.

Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if You like Shakespeare, well done, well acted, true to the text and spirit of the play.

Don't see it if If you prefer reality TV

Absorbing, Great writing, Original, Great acting, Riveting

See it if You are a Shakespeare fan and interested in an interpretation that differs from the norm.

Don't see it if You dislike British productions.

July 22nd, 2016
"A brooding, powerful production…Throughout the director Jonathan Munby’s lucid and strongly acted staging, we will remain aware that while this Shakespearean play is classified as a comedy and is poised ambivalently between light and dark, it will generally be the baser aspects of humanity that ...
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July 23rd, 2016
"A stodgy, underwhelming affair. More or less Renaissance Venice in its period costumes and incidental music, Jonathan Munby’s staging is unfussy and direct, but rarely exciting...Pryce speaks his text with that mellifluous, subtly menacing delivery, shifting from complacent self-satisfaction to ...
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July 22nd, 2016
"As the much maligned yet ethically questionable Jewish moneylender Shylock, Pryce's multifaceted performance is so nuanced that he dominates Jonathan Munby's mounting...During Pryce's offstage scenes, however, this 'Merchant of Venice' is disappointingly black-and-white. The romantic moments bet...
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July 23rd, 2016
"Jonathan Munby’s first-rate Shakespeare’s Globe production...Throughout, Munby keeps the disdain for Jews prominent...Pryce plays Shylock as a man of great dignity, despite (because of?) the hatred accorded him...During the parts of the play when the Shylock plot gets a breather and the competit...
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