ED2016 4/5 Reviews ED2016 Theatre Reviews

Gratiano (Grist To The Mill Productions)

By | Published on Tuesday 23 August 2016

Gratiano Ed2016

Gratiano is not a character I remember from Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’ (he’s Bassiano’s friend, who marries Portia’s servant Nerissa). Grist to the Mill’s work-in-progress show explores what it’s like to be a “sidekick” rather than the “hero” of one’s own life. What makes this show refreshingly different from the innumerable adaptations of Shakespeare plays, told from a minor character’s perspective, is its political engagement. Ross Ericson sets the events and their aftermath in 1940s Fascist Italy, tracing how hateful, anti-Semitic rhetoric can lead to genocide. Ericson delivers a compelling performance in this one-man show as the brusque, heavy-drinking Gratiano. Although the set-up of the show as a police interview doesn’t quite work, there is enormous potential.

Spotlites, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Hannah Greenstreet]