Martin Foreman
drama and fiction

A Pound of Flesh

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A Pound of Flesh
text is provisional and subject to change
concept and all new text © Martin Foreman
full script available:


PROLOGUE 1 In Venice lies our scene, the Rialto,
where fine-dressed merchants, sour-faced lenders come,
like stags with baleful eye, first slowly pace,
then claw at earth with cunning lowered horns,
prepared for battle.
PROLOGUE 2 Our tale has oft been told.
In France it is a tragic history.
In far-off Italy Giannetto,
his promised bride and monied Ansaldo,
who yields his wealth as mothers do their milk,
all come to court where Jew seeks harsh revenge.
PROLOGUE 3 Each author from a previous takes a theme
and to the next bequeaths a mewling babe
with pray'rs its cries fall not on ears unheard.
PROLOGUE 4 Now hear our story stripped of comedy.
A new path taken, tragedy appears.
Plot borrowed from another play in steals,
o'ertakes our heroes and with sad death marks
the consequence of greed.
PROLOGUE 5                           Our solemn debt
to bards and poets is as Bassanio's,
much greater than can ever be repaid.
Two hours hence pronounce your weighty judgement.
But be it noisy pleasure or dissent
Our play is from the heart, poor made, well meant.

Scene One           Final Scene           Structure & Characters

Born in Dundee and growing up in Edinburgh, Martin Foreman spent many years living and working in London and on five continents. That international perspective is reflected in his fiction, particularly The Butterfly's Wing and First and Fiftieth.

Since 2011 he has focused on theatre, initially as an actor, more recently as a playwright and director. In 2012 he won the London Solo Festival New Writing Award and in 2018 the Pitlochry Festival Theatre Short Play Award. He currently lives in Perthshire but mostly directs and supports theatre in Edinburgh.

His playscripts and fiction are available from Amazon, ebay and Arbery Books.