The Shakespeare in Italy Theatre Company

The Shakespeare in Italy Theatre Company is the brainchild of Mary Chater and Julian Curry, one time Royal Shakespeare Company actors who lived in Italy and Italian theatre manager, Sandro Pascucci. Their love of the country and passion for Shakespeare inspired a project to create a company of English speaking actors dedicated to bringing the plays of Shakespeare to new audiences. Their vision is to reconnect contemporary Italy with the timeless world of Shakespeare, the greatest playwright global culture has ever produced.

Shakespeare’s natural genius

Throughout the 20 years of his writing career the philosophical ideas, emotional conundrums and political debates generated by the Italian renaissance of the 15th and 16th centuries inspired and stimulated Shakespeare’s natural genius to create new means of expressing what dramatic literature can say about the human condition.

Shakespeare's Italian connection

The worlds of all his plays are suffused with the spirit of intellectual enquiry and curiosity about the complexity of inter personal relationships that were part of the ferment of thought in the society that bred Machiavelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Cesare Borgia. This rich intellectual inheritance provoked Shakespeare to explore issues in ways that no writer had ever done before, forging a near miraculous fusion between the mind of a man and the spirit of a country. Shakespeare could not have existed as we know him without the Italian connection.

His stories of ancient Rome came to him through the works of Plutarch, Seneca and their contemporaries in both the Roman empire and early medieval Italy. His comedies and tragedies exploring love and death in plays like The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, and The Merchant of Venice were inspired and adapted directly from great Italian authors like Boccaccio, Ser Giovanni, Bandello and many others. It is profoundly true to say that without Italy there would be no Shakespeare.

Inaugural production of The Merchant of Venice

It is planned that the company will stage its inaugural production of The Merchant of Venice at the Goldoni Theatre in Venice after a run in the UK. Massimo Ongaro who is the director of the state funded Il Teatro Stabile del Veneto has invited us to perform at the Goldoni and the Verdi theatre in Padua. This new partnership is intended to attract both an Italian audience and international visitors in the Veneto region.

The director, Bill Alexander, aims to create a production that examines the relationships between the themes of Love and Money, and Justice and Mercy, that echo through the play, and especially to focus on the complexity of Christian/Jewish personal relationships in a Capitalist world that blends the contemporary with the renaissance.