About The Merchant Of Venice

The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh presents the Theatre for a New Audience production of The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, featuring John Douglas Thompson as Shylock, directed by Arin Arbus.

Shakespeare’s perennially contested play about corrosive bigotry and blinding vengeance is poised at the radioactive intersection of race, class and religion in Arin Arbus’s production.

As Arbus observes, “The Merchant of Venice depicts a divided society saturated with hate and inequity. The world boils with anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia, misogyny, classism, and homophobia.”

The show’s uniquely diverse company evoke a deeply stratified Venice. Its connections to our own grievously fractured world are vivid, stark and startling.

The Shakespeare Exchange

The Shakespeare Exchange is the exchange of two productions between Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, and Theatre for a New Audience (TFANA), New York. In the spring of 2024, The Lyceum’s Macbeth (an undoing), written and directed by Zinnie Harris, after William Shakespeare, played at Polonsky Shakespeare Center, TFANA’s home. In winter 2025, TFANA’s The Merchant of Venice will play at The Lyceum.

John Douglas Thompson as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, directed by Arin Arbus. Photo by Henry Grossman.

"In Arin Arbus' provocative production... John Douglas Thompson as Shylock [is] perhaps the greatest Shakespeare interpreter in contemporary America"

The New York Times

Cast and Credits

  • Director Arin Arbus

Dates & Times