During their tour they will visit Tokyo and Yokohama to perform the play and give educational workshops in schools, theatres and universities. Some of the performances will also be followed by Q&A sessions with the director and actors.
The cast and crew have been rehearsing at the Corpus Playroom in Cambridge. They will also be performing previews at Ely Cathedral and the Round Church, Cambridge. Details of these performances can be found on their website. After touring Japan they will return to Cambridge for a home run.
The Pembroke Players’ Japan Tour has taken place annually since 2007. The aim is to provide an accessible Shakespeare production for students of Japanese institutions that are linked with Pembroke College. In 2008 the BBC called the tour unique and claimed: ‘The Pembroke Players’ Japan Tour (PPJT) is rapidly establishing itself as the most successful project of its kind.’
In the last few years the selected plays have included Macbeth and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. This year The Merchant of Venice was chosen for its ability to be at once a comedy and an insightful exploration of human nature. The plot explores the collision of two worlds: these will be differentiated in the production by contrasting costumes and creative lighting design. This year the tour is generously sponsored by Seikei University.