The Merchant of Venice  
The Merchant of Venice

by William Shakespeare

Directed by David Taylor

Thursday 2nd - Saturday 4th September and Tuesday 7th - Saturday 11th September, 2021

At the Tower Theatre, Stoke Newington

Photography by Robert Piwko

Cast List

Antonio : Nick Hall
Bassanio : Dale Robertson
Gratiano : Matt Tylianakis
Shylock : Ian Recordon
Lorenzo : Tom Saunders
Launcelot : Rahul Singh
Gobbo : John Lineen
Portia : Nisha Emich
Nerissa : Rebecca Hill
Jessica : Cymbre Barnes
Solania : Alison Du Cane
Salaria : Fiona Costello
Leonardo : Richard Pedersen
Prince of Arragon : Richard Pedersen
Prince of Morocco : Axel Kengne
Tubal : Leigh Hughes
Jailer : Leigh Hughes
Duke of Venice : Axel Kengne
Balthazar : John Lineen
Soldier/Messenger : Oscar Heron
Other parts played by members of the company


Production Team

Director : David Taylor
Concept and Set Design : Peter Foster
Costume Design : Lynda Twidale and Kathleen Morrison
Lighting Design : Laurence Tuerk
Music and Sound Design : Tamara Douglas-Morris

Stage Manager : Steph Siraut
Assistant Director : Katia Elsianli
ASM : David East
Lighting Operator : Sarah Dunworth
Sound Operator : Matthew Ibbotson
Rehearsal Prompt : Tom Tillery
Military Advice : Nicky Moffat
Set Construction : Andy Hind, Keith Syrett and members of the cast & crew

Nick Hall
This is Nick Hall's second play with the Tower (after last year’s Gainsborough's Girls) and he's thrilled to be taking on the intriguing, complex role of Antonio. Previously, with Jumble Theatre Company, he performed in Pieces of Home (a monologues night) and as Jack Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest. As Macbeth he was one of Tower's "King's Players" performing Shakespeare à la Carte (a show of some of the famous mono/duo-logues) at the British Embassy in Paris, last summer. With a background/vocation in film making, he’s currently writing his third feature script.
  Dale Robertson
This is Dale Robertson's first show with the Tower; the native Australian is excited to be part of this wonderful Shakespeare production. Dale did his two year conservatory in New York City at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and also attended intensives at RADA and in his home city of Melbourne, Australia. His last production was Richard III, with the New York company "Shakespeare Downtown", playing Buckingham. To have the opportunity to perform Shakespeare on any stage in London is an invaluable experience for any actor, and Dale is delighted to share The Merchant of Venice with you all - he hopes that you enjoy it.
Matt Tylianakis
Matt Tylianakis is very excited to be embarking on this, his first production with the Tower Theatre. He's been fairly active in the London amateur theatre scene since arriving here over a decade ago from New Zealand. Most recently he's appeared as Soranzo in Tis Pity She's A Whore (KDC), as Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd (Spread Eagle Players) and as Harry Brewer in Our Country's Good (SEDOS), and so is keeping his fingers crossed that maybe *this* time his character might survive all the way to the end of the play. In real life he works in the graphic design industry as digital damage control.
  Ian Recordon
Ian Recordon has played a variety of roles with the Tower; this is his sixth Shakespeare production - he has previously played the Duke in Measure for Measure, Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Jacques in As You Like It, Kent in King Lear and Antigonus in The Winter's Tale.
Tommy Saunders
Tommy Saunders realised his passion for acting at a young age, performing in musical theatre and plays in the local youth theatre groups in Bournemouth. At age 13 he performed as William in Chatroom, and it was this particular play that sparked his joy for acting. In 2018, Tommy moved to London to pursue his acting career and has worked in film since. He is excited to return to the stage for his debut performance with the Tower Theatre as Lorenzo in The Merchant of Venice.
  Rahul Singh
This is Rahul Singh’s second full production with the Tower Theatre. His first was A Passage To India where he played Dr Aziz. He was recently involved in a few plays in the festival Love [and Survival] in a time of Covid - Balsa Wood, Confessions of a Cab Driver and Jubilee Voices. His first Am Dram role was as Mr Jones and the Narrator in Animal Farm with KDC in December 2018. During the lockdown he was involved a few productions on zoom with KDC (Writing on the Wall) , the Tower (In Their Own Write, In the Bathroom) and SEDOS (The Lights O'London, Great Catherine). When not learning lines, he can be found exercising the logical side of his brain in the fascinating world of data.
John Lineen
This is John Lineen's first production with the Tower Theatre and his second ever, having played Sergeant Buzfuz in an adaptation of The Pickwick Papers while at school over twenty years ago.
  Nisha Emich
Nisha Emich joined the Tower Theatre Company a few months before Covid-19 shut its doors, and The Merchant of Venice will be her first production with the company. She has an English Literature degree from Cambridge University where she spent as much time as she could avoiding work by performing in nearly twenty productions - including Hamlet and Titus Andronicus. Later this year, she will be going to the Oxford School of Drama to train on their intensive, one-year acting course.
Rebecca Hill
This is Rebecca Hill's second production with the Tower, having played a mobster in To Kill a Mockingbird. Rebecca has played Francisca the nun in Measure for Measure and she learnt to fly as John Darling in Peter Pan. She has also played two 'ladies of the night' in Jekyll and Hyde and Doctor Spence in Thriller of the Year.
  Cymbre Barnes
This is Cymbre Barnes's first show with the Tower. Throughout her childhood and time at the Guildford School of Acting, she was involved in many productions. Most notably, her enthusiasm for theatre began at age 10 with the lead role in Annie at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre. In her day job, Cymbre works in the city as a Financial Planner.
Alison Du Cane
Alison Du Cane has acted in many productions, mostly with the Ladbroke Players, and has also directed several plays for them. Roles have ranged from Elvira in Blithe Spirit and Mrs Erlynne in Lady Windermere’s Fan to Lady Macbeth and Maggie in Hobson’s Choice. Recently she played Catherine in the SEDOS show Arms and the Man. This is her third production with the Tower (previously The House of Bernarda Alba and Harvey). When not acting she likes throwing herself in the water to swim in the sea and the River Thames.
  Fiona Costello
Fiona Costello joined the Tower just before the lockdown, and is excited that they can bring the play to life at last. She trained at Rose Bruford College and Stage and the City. This is Fi's first Shakespeare production, having previously appeared in Attempts on Her Life, The House of Bernarda Alba, Robin Hood, A Christmas Carol and The Visit. By day, Fi is a Civil Servant in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
Axel Kengne
Axel Kengne joined the Tower Theatre Company last year, and this will be his first production. He has played various roles in the past in France and here in London, the latest being The Beast in a Beauty and the Beast Touring Pantomime. He also has knowledge in digital marketing and sales, and is usually working in Central London as a Sales Executive.
  Leigh Hughes
This is Leigh Hughes' first production at the Tower having auditioned in 2020. He has previously appeared at the Royal Opera House as the High Priest in Boris Godunov and he is a regular actor at Theatro Technis, playing Oedipus Tyrannus, The Messenger in The Persians and Torvald Helmer in A Doll's House. He has also toured in Cyprus. He regularly works in film, mainly with the London Film Academy. He has a commercial agent. Leigh's main interests are Hermeticism and Gnosticism.
Richard Pedersen
Richard Pedersen last appeared at the Tower as Dillwyn Knox in Breaking the Code and previously as Shamrayev in The Seagull. A Company member for over 30 years, he has been part of 18 Shakespeare tours to Paris either as actor, stage manager, subtitle operator or tour manager. In the Tower's 1999 production of The Merchant of Venice he played Solanio.
  Oscar Heron
Oscar Heron, from Northern Ireland, is a producer, director and actor for both stage and screen. Trained in monologues including Pinter with Actors Training Studio and Shakespreare with ICAT London, he has performed both Richard III and Macbeth in London. Television roles have included Ted Lasso, EastEnders and Luther amongst many other BBC, Amazon Prime, Netflix and Ch4 productions. A member of the Tower Theatre for 2 years, he has been part of our previous production A Passage To India and is looking forward to many future opportunities with the company. Twitter @TheRealShowman.
David Taylor
David Taylor's early years were spent tinkering with model theatres and doing school plays but his first directing job for the Tower Theatre (as a very young man) was The Boy Friend in 1975. Since then he has directed and designed and occasionally acted in a wide range of shows. Favourite play productions include Pygmalion, Nicholas Nickleby, My Night With Reg, As You Like It and Lark Rise, and favourite musicals include Mr Cinders, West Side Story, On The Town, Blitz, Valmouth, Sail Away, Guys and Dolls and The Producers, which won the Minack Theatre trophy for the best production of the season in 2014. In 2016, he led the Tower's team in their co-production with the RSC of A Midsummer Night's Dream - A Play for the Nation, which was presented at the Barbican Theatre in London and the RSC theatre in Stratford. His most recent productions were Gainsborough's Girls in 2019 and Opening Up which was the first production in the theatre this year.