IF you caught any of the performances in Guy Masterson’s five-night one-man show residency at the Hawthorne Theatre in Welwyn Garden City last year you will already know the stage actor is a master of his craft.

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One of the world’s leading exponents of solo theatre, the nephew of the late Sir Richard Burton will be bringing one of his best known works to Hertford Theatre later this week.

Written and directed by Gareth Armstrong, Masterson will perform Shylock on Thursday, March 29 at The Wash venue.

Villain? Victim? Or is Shylock someone even more intriguing?

Shylock is one of only two Jewish men in the whole of Shakespeare.

Throughout history, he has been portrayed in ways which reflected the way Jews were popularly viewed – from comic villain in Shakespeare’s day to victim of racial discrimination today.

In this poignant, powerful yet very humorous account, Shylock is explained to us through his only friend Tubal, via a series of clever impersonations from Pontius Pilate to Edmund Kean, from Portia to Dracula.

Leading us through the whole of Shylock’s conundrum in The Merchant of Venice – giving a rousing rendition of all of Shylock’s scenes and playing all the characters – Tubal leaves the audience with a much deeper understanding of the issues that Jews have faced through history since the scriptures were written.

Gareth Armstrong’s Shylock is one of the world’s most successful solo shows and Masterson demonstrates its brilliance.

Without preaching or teaching, the play spotlights the plight of any victimised minority.

Tickets are £12, £10 concessions, and £8 for groups of 10 or more.

They are available from the box office on 01992 531500 or online via www.hertfordtheatre.com

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