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Act 1 Scene 2
Portia This reasoning is not in the fashion to choose me a husband. O me, the word 'choose!' I may neither choose whom I would nor refuse whom I dislike; So is the will of a living daughter curbed by the will of a dead father. Is it not hard, Nerissa, that I cannot choose one nor refuse none?
Portia (Georgina Rich) explains to Nerissa (Amanda Hadingue) that she's fed up with her situation. They discuss her father's will which orders that her suitors must pick one of three caskets in order to win her hand in marriage.
Photo by Hugo Glendinning © RSC
Act 2 Scene 2
Launcelot Gobbo Turn up on your right hand at the next turning, but, at the next turning of all, on your left...
Shylock's servant Launcelot (William Beck) plays a trick on his father, who is blind. Old Gobbo (Larrington Walker) has asked him directions to Shylock's house so Launcelot tries to confuse him.
Act 3 Scene 2
Bassanio Thou meagre lead, / Which rather threatenest than dost promise aught, Thy paleness moves me more than eloquence; / And here choose I; joy be the consequence!
At Belmont, Bassanio (Jack Laskey) looks at all the caskets before choosing the one made of lead.
Act 4 Scene 1
Portia This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood; / The words expressly are 'a pound of flesh'
Just as Shylock is about to cut into Antonio to take his 'pound of flesh', Portia points out that the bond is forfeit if he takes a single drop of blood.
Shylock - Angus WrightPortia - Georgina RichAntonio - James Garnon
Act 5 Scene 1
Lorenzo The moon shines bright: in such a night as this, When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees / And they did make no noise
Jessica (Amara Karan) and Lorenzo (Patrick Moy) lie in the gardens at Portia's home in Belmont, declaring their love for each other and comparing themselves to lovers in classical stories.
Bassanio If I could add a lie unto a fault, / I would deny it; but you see my finger / Hath not the ring upon it; it is gone. Portia Even so void is your false heart of truth. / By heaven, I will ne'er come in your bed / Until I see the ring.
Bassanio (Jack Laskey) doesn't have the ring Portia (Georgina Rich) gave to him because he's given it to Balthazar, the laywer. Portia tells him his heart is as empty as his finger.
Nerissa. And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano; / For that same scrubbed boy, the doctor's clerk, In lieu of this last night did lie with me. Gratiano Why, this is like the mending of highways / In summer, where the ways are fair enough: What, are we cuckolds ere we have deserved it?
In order to explain how she and Portia have the rings given to the lawyer and his clerk, Nerissa (Amanda Hadingue) says that they 'lay with' them. Before Gratiano (John Paul Connolly) and Bassanio (Jack Laskey, foreground) can get too upset, Portia reveals the truth.
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