Today eight of us headed to Stratford-upon-Avon to see the Royal Shakespeare Company perform The Merchant of Venice. We had dinner in a pub first and then went to the play. I had never seen or read the play. Beforehand, one of my colleagues commented that it was anti-Semitic. I promised to explain afterwards why it wasn't.
Of course, afterwards, I realized it was. I had a fairly tenuous argument that I decided not to push. Nevertheless, I'm sure someone has retold the story from the standpoint of Shylock; I think that could be a fairly sympathetic story about how the Venetians subverted the justice system to deprive him of his property and force him to convert to Christianity. It would, at least, be historically accurate.
The play was good. Not great, but good. Some of the actors seemed sub-par, but others were excellent. Still, it was hard to beat as a way to spend an evening in this part of the UK.
I took a few pictures; please enjoy.