2013 Theatre Festival Review: Shylock

Gareth Boyce

Sounder News

Monday, August 26 2013

On Sunday afternoon, theatre patrons flocked in to watch Antony Holland, and members of ITSAZOO, from Vancouver, perform a shortened version of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, entitled Shylock, which focussed on Shylock’s story.

 There was barely any set, barely any props. Just the actors and their words. Antony’s performance was riveting and heart-wrenching, bringing the audience to tears by the end. The cast from its ITSAZOO also did a good job, though some of them fell flat in comparison to the talents of Antony, and sounded more like they were simply reading the lines. 

While noise from outside the tent was a minor distraction in many of the shows at the festival, it was the worst in this show as planes flew over and trucks chugged past, sometimes making it difficult to hear the actors. 

A well done performance, deserving of the standing ovation it received. 

Unfortunately, this show was the last time Shylock will be performed with ITSAZOO. They have commitments elsewhere that make them unable to have another performance. Antony is currently in talks with other Vancouver theatre companies. He is also hoping that he can revive the play by engaging community members from Gabriola and Nanaimo.

In the meantime, Antony is hoping to perform some of his one-man plays at the Gabriola Theatre Centre at 1475 Peterson Road. He is also looking for assistance for these shows. 

Anyone interested in helping Antony with continuing Shylock or helping him with the one-man plays can reach him at 250-247-9805 or by email at antony85@shaw.ca.