Catherine interviews John Bell

Catherine and Audio Director/Producer Christopher Williams have been making tracks across Sydney lately, interviewing subjects for the upcoming The Merchant: A Sydney Document, including Shakespearean heavyweight and Director of the Bell Shakespeare Company, John Bell. Catherine discussed with John how he approached Shylock when taking on the role in 1990.
Catherine and Christopher have been working on Bell Shakespeare's Mind's Eye program, developing a re-contextualisation of The Merchant of Venice. The Elizabethan port city will be supplanted with post-GFC Sydney, with its diffusion of financial markets, banking and futures trading, financial and legal fraternities, and it’s thriving eastern suburbs Jewish community. The Merchant: A Sydney Document takes place in Circular Quay and the CBD, with Sydney’s own Rialto - the glorious Sydney Harbour Bridge - as the backdrop.
The team has been undertaking interviews with Sydney professionals who could be considered the modern equivalents of characters in the play, including: Barrister, Dominique Hogan-Doran; Head of Australia Israel Jewish Affairs Council, Jeremy Jones; Financial Analyst, Lachlan Colquoun; former merchant banker, David Lewis; former futures trader, Clare Fitzgerald; and former investment banker, Ian Learmonth. These interviews have given the team a real insight into the key dramatic moments of The Merchant - such as the news on the Rialto, the deal, the storm, and the courtroom scenes – and how they might play out in contemporary Sydney. 
Click here for more on the Bell Shakespeare Company and Mind's Eye.
Click here for more on The Merchant: A Sydney Document.