9-11th May

The Merchant of Venice is a wonderfully complex piece of writing, revealing a world fuelled by money, held together by bonds, and motivated almost emtirely by self-interest. In our exploration of the play we found not one single character who acted selflessly: all were on the make, or gambling for status, or using each other to get what they wanted. The dominant theme that emerged for us is of bondage: each tried to bind another, through legal contracts, love ties, promises, emotional blackmail, excessive generosity, rigid ritual, debt, cultural tradition, or mercy. Portia, one of Shakespeare's most compelling women, was seen as the consumate expert in the art of binding, having herself been bound to a bizarre ritualitic marriage condition imposed by her dead father. By the end of the play she has firmly bound to her a man she can control, indebted the Republic to her for saving one of its leading citizens, and sundered a complex bond between her husband and his too-generous benefactor. In this world, almost everything can be bought. It is Shakespeare's prophetic glimpse forward to our world of neo-liberal capitalism, where radically diverse communities with opposing religious idealogies can live, buy and sell together despite hating each other's beliefs. The 4 great losers in the play represent modes of thinking and systems of belief that have no place in this new world because they were fixed, immovable and not able to adapt. Morocco (the warrior class bound by honour), Aragon (the nobility bound by rank), Antonoio (the Christian bound by New Testament ideas of sacrifice), and Shylock (the Jew bound by Old Testament ideas of vengeance) all appear inflexible and rigid compared to Portia's trickery, adaptability and use of all means at her disposal to get her will (including using her identity, her marriage, and her morality). 

Kildare Youth Theatre cast are:

Portia - Lauren Kelly
Shylock - Sean O' Brien
Bassanio - Graham Butler-Breen
Antonio - Alec Delaney
Nerissa - Noelle Keogh
Gratiano - Sean Dowse
Jessica - Sarah Mc Cormack
Lorenzo - Cian Ó Nairigh
Salarino - Elliot Nolan
Solanio - Charlie Hughes-Farrell
Launcelot Gobbo - Ross Moore
Old Gobbo - Eoghan Ó Laoire
Prince of Morocco - Doug Morrison
Prince of Aragon - Aran Cluskey
Balthazar - Shauna Kavanagh
Leonardo - Odharnait Burke
Stefano - Peter McHale
Conscience - Colin Smyth
Fiend - Daniel Cocieru
Duke of Venice - Colin Smyth
Tubal - Peter Mc Hale

20-22 June

scenes from Shakespeare about women who have been bought, sold, abandoned or traded

These are young people performing Shakespeare mostly for the first time in scenes that deal with women who have been, against their will, married, sold, blackmailed or tricked into sex or marriage.

 

The scenes are from Romeo and Juliet (Act 3 Scene 5), directed by Jillain Bradbury;  All’s Well That Ends Well (Act 4 Scene 2), directed by Peter Hussey; Pericles (Act 4 Scene 2 and Act 4 Scene 5), directed by Peter Hussey; Measure for Measure (Act 2 Scene 4), directed by Caolán Dundon; King Lear (Act 1 Scene 1, lines 200 – 285), directed by Peter Hussey; Othello (Act 4 Scene 3), directed by Jerry Iwu; and Hamlet (Act 1 Scene 3), directed by Mary Linehan.

The cast includes Charlie Hughes Farrell, Shauna Kavanagh, Caoimhe Battault, Seán Dowse, Peter McHale, Elliot Nolan, Rachel Foran, Cathleen Coyle, Odharnait Bourke, Seán Ó Brien, Izzy Noone, Becky Donovan, Lauren Kelly, Ben McGoohan, Robert Doran, Doug Morrison, Hannah Power, Hazel Egan, Edward Whitty, Niamh Walsh, Cian Ó Náirigh, Eoghan Ó Laoire, and Ali Eaton

20th August

National Theatre Connections festival

8th November

I have existed merely to perform tricks for you, Torvald. You have committed a great sin against me. It is your fault that I have made nothing of my life.

 

One of the great attractions of this emotionally-charged play is that it presents us with a character who faces a burning dilemma and who seems doomed no matter which option she chooses to solve it. And then, when all seems lost, she chooses to do the unthinkable. The ending of the play, a slammed door, sent shock waves around the world that still echo today. It ushered modern drama onto centre stage, banishing aristocratic comedy and melodramatic to the side. It premiered in Copenhagen in 1879 at the dawn of the suffragette movement, and has ever since become one of the world’s most performed plays.

 

This version by Kildare Youth Theatre was directed by Evan Lynch and featured young actors drawn from all over Kildare.
The production was especially made for schools – this play was a prescribed single text, and also a comparative text, for both ordinary and higher level Leaving Cert English in 2017.
The day time show was followed by a post-show discussion.