Shakespeare at Winedale Alumni Perform "The Jew of Malta"
The Jew of Malta, by Christopher Marlowe
April 13, 2010
Harry Ransom Center, Protho Theatre
On April 13, 2010, Shakespeare at Winedale alumni staged a reading of The Jew of Malta in conjunction with the Renaissance Institute's theme, "Literature and Religious Conflict in the English Renaissance."
Christopher Marlowe’s 1592 satirical masterpiece features one of his greatest anti-heroes in a story of religious conflict, Machiavellian scheming, and ruthless revenge. Barabas, the Jew of Malta, has his wealth seized by the island’s Christian rulers in order to prevent an invasion by Ottoman Turks. He undertakes a spectacular and often hilarious campaign of vengeance involving poisoned nuns, unscrupulous friars, and multiple betrayals, culminating in a giant boiling cauldron. Hypocrisy and murder know no religious bounds in this shocking and cynical tragicomedy: Christians, Muslims and Jews are shown to be equally motivated by greed and malice. This rarely-performed play, written just a few years before the controversial young playwright’s violent death, was given a special one-off staged reading performance. The title role was played by Matthew Radford, leading Austin actor and former Shakespeare at Winedale Visiting Associate Director; he is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the UT English Department.