GO TO Studio 3 Arts Outdoor Production of ‘The Merchant of Venice’ Around Barking Town Centre This Weekend

 Kiel Smith-Bynoe as Prince of Morocco Photo-credit Mark Sepple

Kiel Smith-Bynoe as Prince of Morocco
Photo-credit Mark Sepple

Studio 3 Arts is proud to announce their summer production of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice adapted by writer Ashley Joseph.

In a celebrity driven, Internet world full of selfies and hashtags, a wealthy heiress is looking for a husband. Back on the streets of Barking, a wealthy merchant is looking for a loan. Everyone’s out to make it for themselves; but everything comes at a price.

Cleverly relocated to Barking in an adaptation by local writer Ashley Joseph and directed by Angela Michaels, Studio 3 Arts presents a professional cast of actors alongside a team of community performers from across the Borough. Be a part of a history in the making, this is Shakespeare like you have never seen it before: on the streets of Barking.

This year commemorates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and to mark this occasion Studio 3 Arts will present an exciting promenade outdoor production of The Merchant of Venice from Tuesday 5 – Sunday 10 July around Barking Town Centre’s key landmarks.

The project is the culmination of a long creative collaboration between Liza Vallance, Studio 3 Arts’ Artistic Director and writer Ashley Joseph, who is S3A’s Writer/Actor in Residence. Liza and Ashley came up with the creative concept for the piece more than 5 years ago, and (im)patiently waited for the right time for the project to happen. Ashley is a pioneering writer, presenter and actor and this, his first adaptation of a Shakespeare play brings to the forefront his trademark ability to combine language, humour and dynamic narrative form. His adaptation is rooted in Barking’s history and modern-day, with seamless references to the town’s landmarks and people woven into Shakespeare’s original text.

Cast of Merchant of Venice - Razak Osman (Gratiano), Michael Bertenshaw (Antonio), Kiel Smith-Bynoe (Lorenzo) Photo credit - Mark Sepple

Cast of Merchant of Venice – Razak Osman (Gratiano), Michael Bertenshaw (Antonio), Kiel Smith-Bynoe (Lorenzo)
Photo credit – Mark Sepple

Of Ashley’s script, Liza said: ‘I knew it would be good. That’s why Ashley and I work together. I was expecting something exciting. But honestly – the first draft blew me away. The care for the original text and the flavour of Barking that Ashley’s captured in the writing is pretty awesome. This is going to be a very special piece of theatre.’

Based in Barking, Studio 3 Arts is at the forefront of social engagement in the arts. Studio 3 Arts’ Artistic Director Liza Vallance said ‘we have been exploring this play in the context of Barking and Dagenham for several years. It is an area with real diversity with over 100 languages spoken in schools, incredible artistic ambition and community activisim, this production gives us a chance to explore race, religion, economics and enterprise’.

The production will combine professional actors and creative team with local people from the borough. The creative team comprises writer Ashley J Francis from MTV Base, Eastenders, Acting Up, 5’s a crowd; composer/songwriter Linton Bennett who has worked with Dido, All Saints, Jamelia, Sonique, Boyz to Men and Paul Young and movement director Botis Seva from Far From The Norm dance company. The production will be directed by Angela Michaels.

  • Performances: Tuesday 5th – Sunday 10th July, 7.45pm, Saturday 3pm & 7.45pm Sunday 3pm.
  • Tickets are £5, £10. To book call: 020 8507 5607 | movbarking.co.uk | Broadway Barking, Broadway, IG11 7LS www.studio3arts.org.uk #MOVBARKING

Merchant of Venice is a Creative Barking and Dagenham Landmark Commission
Principal Corporate Partner: Vicarage Field

MOV is also supported by Mayor of London High Street Fund, Bouygues UK, East Thames and Seedbed Trust