William Collins Books and Decca Records are proud to present ARGO Classics, a historic catalogue of classic prose and verse read by some of the world’s most renowned voices. Originally released as vinyl records, these expertly remastered stories are now available to download for the first time.
'The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven’
Bassiano, a noble Venetian, hopes to woo the beautiful heiress Portia. However, he requires financial assistance from his friend Antonio. Antonio agrees, but he, in turn, must borrow from the Jewish moneylender Shylock. As recourse for past ills, Shylock stipulates that the forfeit on the loan must be a pound of Antonio’s flesh.
In the most renowned onstage law scene of all time, Portia proves herself one of Shakespeare’s most cunning heroines, disguising herself as a lawyer and vanquishing Shylock’s claims; meanwhile, Shylock triumphs on a humanitarian level with his plea for tolerance.
All of the Shakespeare plays within the ARGO Classics catalogue are performed by the Marlowe Dramatic Society and Professional Players. The Marlowe was founded in 1907 with a mission to focus on effective delivery of verse, respect the integrity of texts, and rescue neglected plays by Shakespeare’s contemporaries and the less performed plays of Shakespeare himself. The Marlowe has performed annually at Cambridge Arts Theatre since its opening in 1936 and continues to produce some of the finest actors of their generations.
Thurston Dart, Professor of Music at London University and a Fellow of Jesus College Cambridge, directed the music for this production.
The full cast includes: Donald Beves; John Barton; Toby Robertson; George Rylands; Gary Watson; Anthony Jacobs; Gerald Mosback; Derek Jacobi; Richard Marquand; Tony Church; Clive Swift; Michael Bates; Terrence Hardiman; Christopher Renard; John Tracy-Phillips; Margaretta Scott; Christine Baker; Janette Richer.