In Shakespeare’s play Antonio’s life is threatened when Shylock the moneylender demands the pound of flesh due to him.
Only the last-minute intervention by Portia, disguised as a young man, saves the merchant
when she points out that the contract with Shylock does not allow any blood to be spilt.
But what would happen if Portia were prevented by plague from travelling to Venice?
Martin Foreman’s adaptation strips the comedy from this classic drama to present a tragedy
that focuses on Antonio, his young protegé Bassanio and the anti-semitism that underlies the story.