Locating Shakespeare’s plays in non-Elizabethan locations or timeframes is fairly common practice. In doing so different subtleties and themes can be brought out or explored, and sub-texts uncovered that are not apparent in its classical setting. But Rupert Goold’s choice of Las Vegas as the setting for The Merchant Of Venice, complete with American accents, is one of the more unusual I have come across.
Encountering strangers was always an ‘interesting’ experience. Brain injuries are invisible with no outwardly signs, so how could people know? Because I couldn’t respond quickly enough to sentences thrown at me I was branded as ‘rude’ or ‘ignorant’ and on several occasions I was given abuse for being drunk in the morning – it wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t walk in straight lines!
Each year for a little over a week, the longest straight stretch on the Thames becomes a flurry of activity, as marquees are erected, boat trailers arrive and an entire year’s worth of training comes down to what happens on this 2km stretch of water.