Watch the August 2016 Winning Stage Play Winner.
TWO MERCHANTS OF VENICE by Stephen M Hunt
NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
SHYLOCK – Lorne_Hiro
PORTIA – Susan Wilson
ANTONIO – Stephen Flett
BASSANIO – David Strauss
GRATIANO – Rais Muoi
LORENZO/LANCELOT – Adam McNamara
NERISSA/SALLY – Laura Darby
JESSICA/SOPHIE – Victoria Urquhart
Get to know the winning writer:
1. What is your stage play about?
Two Merchants is a radical adaptation of The Merchant of Venice
2. Why should this play be produced?
This adaptation is unique and groundbreaking because switching around the lines of the original delivers a story with real bite for 21st century audiences that deals with feminism, anti-Semitism and homophobia.
3. How would you describe this play in two words?
4. What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?
“Lie To Me” starring Tim Roth.
5. How long have you been working on this play?
I wrote the first version in 1998 and have striven ever since to improve it.
6. How many stories have you written?
6 plays, 5 feature screenplays and 10 short screenplays.
7. What motivated you to write this play?
I’ve seen many productions (films and stage plays) of The Merchant of Venice and found them all hugely dissatisfying because they’re always an Elizabethan mish-mash of not very funny comedy that clashes with crucially important social themes.
8. What obstacles did you face to finish this play?
The biggest and most enjoyable challenge was an extremely close study of The Merchant of Venice to select lines that I could take from one character and give to another to tell a seamless, familiar yet radically different story.
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
10. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
Not every piece I’ve submitted to WildSound has met with their ecstatic acclaim but their inspirational feedback has been really beneficial. Consequently, they’ve produced for me readings of (1) this Shakespeare adaptation, (2) a short WWII screenplay, (3) a short screenplay about Death falling in love and (4) a one-page comedy screenplay.
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Enter competitions like WildSound that will put your work “out there”. After the WildSound reading of my fantasy about Death falling in love, that screenplay was selected for production and begins filming on location in Maine, later this year.
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson