#Creatives working with #BillAlexander on brand new 6 character version 'A Merchant of Venice' November 10 - December 4 2021

Highly experienced Sara Perks will design the set and costumes, Ryan Day will design the lighting and Sarah Sayeed the sound and music

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Sara has designed in the region of 250 productions, for a wide variety of theatres, venues, sites and genres. She has a BA Hons in Drama and Theatre Studies; and trained in Theatre Design at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

She has been nominated for both Broadway World Awards ( Set Design , and Costume Design) and a Whats On Stage Award ( Set Design) for American Idiot; an Offie - for Oranges and Elephants; and holds an Edinburgh Fringe First; The John Elvery Theatre Design Award and a Vision Design (Costume) Award from the BBC.

Projects in the past 3 years include Around The World In 80 Days ( York Theatre Royal - tour); The Mold Riots ( Theatre Clwyd); Beauty Queen of Leenane ( Hull Truck and Hornchurch) Artistic & Season Designer (2019) for Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre York - Hamlet , The Tempest, Henry V; Twelfth Night - and Blenheim Palace, Oxford - Macbeth( 2018 York also), Midsummer Night’s Dream(2018 York also), Romeo & Juliet , Richard III; ( Lunchbox Int); American Idiot ( Selladoor) International tour; Babe - The Sheep Pig ( Mercury); and a site specific Mother Courage (with Pauline McLynn) for Red Ladder in Leeds. Tours last year have included a UK tour of Brighton Rock for Pilot & York Theatre Royal, in a new stage version by Bryony Lavery; a UK tour of a new version of Turn of the Screw by Tim Luscombe( 2019 & 2018) ; national and Asian tour of a brand new production of Spamalot ( Mercury and Selladoor) and Finding Nana by Jane Upton for New Perspectives.

Please see for more information about her work.

I am a London based lighting designer, working in theatre, dance and opera. I enjoy working in close collaboration with the rest of the creative team, introducing and containing great working relationships. I also work as an assistant and associate lighting designer.

​I am a member of the Association for Lighting Production and Design and trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, studying theatre lighting design.

Please see to read more about Ryan's work

Sarah Sayeed is a musician, composer, sound designer and writer with over 15 years of experience working collaboratively with a range of artists and organisations.

​As a musical artist, her practice focuses around contemporary works that are influenced by a plethora of styles and musical traditions. Sarah has created compositions and sound designs across Western classical choral works, Indian and Bengali classical vocals, instrumental pieces and her first love: contemporary jazz, soul and hip hop. Sarah plays instruments tanpura and shruti, and is the lead vocalist in international duet Myth of Her with violin and electronic artist Anne Eltard (Copenhagen, Denmark). Sarah is currently training in classical vocals with leading Classical Indian Music maestro Swati Natekar and was the successful recipient of the Portfolio Composers Scheme in partnership with Sound and Music and Kuljit Bhamra.

Sarahs credits include Composer and Sound Designer for Santi and Naz (The Thelmas), Composer and Sound Designer for We Are Shadows (Tamasha), Principle Musician in Richard 2nd at Shakespeare's Globe (2019, Composer & Musical Director for the Royal Shakespeare Company adaption of Moliere's Tartuffe (2019/2018) and Sound Designer for Contact Theatre's production on Suffragette Movement, She Bangs The Drums (2018). She is currently working on Intention, directed by Kash Arshad (co-production with Graeae and Tamasha) and will be working on A Merchant of Venice with Shakespeare in Italy, directed by Bill Alexander this autumn.

Sarah's website for more info is

#Fullcast announced for #brandnew 6 character version 'A Merchant of Venice'

#BillAlexander's adaptation that will run @ThePlayground Theatre W10 6RQ from November 10th - December 4th 2021

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Full casting was announced on September 21st -


#Brandnew 6 character version called 'A Merchant of Venice' adapted and directed by #Bill Alexander

Our #first production opens at The Playground Theatre, Latimer Road, London W10 on November 10th - #savethedate - more info v soon

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One can get obsessed with a particular work of art and I confess that obsession is the only way to describe my relationship to The Merchant of Venice. I have directed it twice professionally (the RSC and Birmingham Rep), twice at drama schools (LAMDA and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School) and taught and lectured on it often. When working on select scenes with students at the London Drama Studio (Ealing) it began to occur to me that there was an inner play about a small network of relationships that was the core of the bigger play that wrestles with huge themes of Justice and Mercy, Marriage and Money, Race and Class, and it is this inner core, essentially about the tortured nature of Love, that my production for Shakespeare in Italy will focus on.
Antonio loves Bassanio in a tortured way because he struggles to understand the true nature of his feelings and has no idea either how to express them or whether they will ever be reciprocated. Bassanio loves Portia but is tortured by how real that is when weighed against his desperate need of her money to repay his debts to a man he also loves, Antonio! Portia loves Bassanio but is tortured by the terms of her dead father's bizarre will that dictates her marital future turns on the outcome of a crazy-seeming lottery. The conversation of the lovers before Bassanio makes his choice turns around the metaphor of them both being on the rack, the Elizabethan torturers instrument of choice. Shylocks torture, apart from his foul treatment by the Christians of Venice, is the death of his adored wife Leah and the duplicity of his daughter. My version of the play, which I have called A Merchant of Venice, excludes much that is well known, to focus on just six key characters whose entangled loves, desires and fortunes hinge on better understanding of themselves and their relation to each other in the blackly comic world of a modern Venice, the sublime and terrible Serenissima.
Bill Alexander

#TheMerchantofVenice #Portia #Shylock #Antonio #Bassanio #Gratiano + #newcharacter #Venice #merchantventurers #laserenissima #shakespeare
#AssociateArtist #RSCHonoraryAssociateArtist

#ArtsCouncilEngland funded #free #summerschool for 14 - 18 yr olds in #Brighton August 31 - September 3

The Apples and Eyes Project features filmmaking, acting, music and games sessions in Racehill Community Orchard, top of Wilson Avenue

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We are delighted to announce that through a unique partnership we have been successful in winning a grant from Arts Council England for a free four-day summer school in East Brighton for 14 - 18 year olds. It will give young people the opportunity to play and have fun with film-making, drama and music to explore an orchard environment.
The Apples and Eyes Project will take place in Racehill Community Orchard at the top of Wilson Avenue and be led by an experienced team of actors and practitioners from the Shakespeare in Italy Theatre Company, alongside the Trust for Developing Communities and Brighton Permaculture Trust.
The natural world was a driving force of Shakespeare’s imagination. His plays abound with references to nature. Oberon, the king of the fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream instructs Puck to drop a love potion in Demetrius' eyes:

‘Flower of this purple dye,
Hit with Cupid’s archery,
Sink in apple of his eye’.

“We are thrilled to be working on this project in Brighton, which we hope will be the first of many. Young people will be assisted to use their creative, dramatic skills in a natural setting, encouraging them to explore the transformative powers of both and to have fun in the process,” said actress Mary Chater who devised the project and is one of the founders of Shakespeare in Italy.

Youth Work Manager Caroline Vitta for the Trust for Developing Communities in East Brighton, is looking forward to taking part: “The trust is excited to be involved in this great project for young people at the Racehill Community Orchard. East Brighton has a strong community arts base and the partnership can build on this by giving young people the opportunity to get involved in film making, music and drama in really beautiful surroundings whilst being supported by the fantastic Shakespeare in Italy Theatre Company.”

Bryn Thomas, Director of Brighton Permaculture Trust said: “I am delighted that this project is taking place at Racehill Community Orchard, giving local young people a chance to connect to nature and explore the space in a creative way. In practical terms, it will also help us towards fitting solar electric lighting in our cabin and tools store and to install rainwater harvesting for watering the orchard trees.”

TO JOIN THE SUMMER SCHOOL AND FOR MORE INFO, please email Caroline Vitta -

#youngpeople #14-18yrolds #summerschool #orchard #naturalworld #filmmaking #brightonandhove #brighton #permaculture #organicgrowingtechniques #biodiversity #sustainability #StanmerOrganics #solarelectriclighting #brightonpermaculturetrust