Shylock Speaks

Janet Suzman, David Peimer, Robert Gordon, Kyle Darroch

Chair: Robert Gordon NobuLali Dangazele Kyle Darroch

29/02/2020 8:30 pm
Kings Place, Hall 2

The world premiere of a new short play followed by a discussion with Anthony Julius and Janet Suzman.

Robert Gordon and David Peimer present their new play, Shylock Speaks, exploring Shakespeare’s ‘outsider’. Shylock asks: Who is a citizen? Who an ‘alien’? As recurring forces of antisemitism frame cultural identity, where does Shylock belong today? The play promises a surprising new approach to The Merchant of Venice as the characters speak to our times.

This 50-minute play will be followed by a Q & A with Janet Suzman, Robert Gordon and David Peimer, chaired by Anthony Julius.

Janet Suzman

Oscar Nominated Janet Suzman DBE has played most of Shakespeare’s women, has starred in a wide range of classical and modern drama onstage and on TV, has appeared in some notable films, has worked as a director both here and in South Africa land of her birth. Janet has loved Bach since, as a callow teenager, she suddenly 'got' him, and he has never left.

David Peimer

David Peimer is a playwright, librettist and director. He has won many awards (including the Soros Open Society Award, Goethe Inst Award, South African National Playwriting, and others), directed over 40 plays in the EU, South Africa, New York, UK, and for the Pinter Centre. He is also a Professor of Theatre (UK) and was at New York University (Prague campus). Born in South Africa, his most recent book of plays is Armed Response; Plays from South Africa. He has directed in Vaclav Havel’s Prague theatre, staged work in the EU Parliament and a new upcoming project is endorsed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Robert Gordon

Robert Gordon has worked as an actor, director and playwright in the UK, South Africa, Ireland, Italy, USA and Czech Republic, and is author of Red Earth, a play about women under apartheid, and Waterloo Road. He is author of The Purpose of Playing: Modern Acting Theory in Perspective (2006), Harold Pinter’s Theatre of Power (2012) and British Musical Theatre Since 1950 (2016) with Olaf Jubin and Millie Taylor. He has also edited three collections on musical theatre for OUP. As Professor of Theatre and Director of the Pinter Centre for Performance and Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London, he introduced the first British MA in Musical Theatre. For the Pinter Centre, he devised and co-directed Pinter: In Other Rooms, which toured European cities. Shylock Speaks is part of a 10-year creative research project, Decolonising Shakespeare, which aims to confront present-day racism as the legacy of European anti-Semitism and colonialism.

Kyle Darroch

Kyle Darroch graduated with a BA in Drama and Theatre Arts from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2011. On graduating he devised a theatre piece based on Animal Farm and in 2013 read Modern European Philosophy at the Centre for Research on Modern European Philosophy, graduating with a Distinction. He is now pursuing a career as an actor.

Anthony Julius

Anthony Julius is a lawyer, academic and author. His books include Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England. He is known among other things for his actions on behalf of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Deborah Lipstadt. He is deputy chairman of the London law firm Mishcon de Reya and holds the chair in Law and Arts in the Faculty of Laws at University College London. He is currently writing a book on censorship, which will be published by OUP in 2022.