Shylock, or The Merchant of Venice Preserved

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Shylock, or The Merchant of Venice Preserved is a travesty by Francis Talfourd (1828-1862)[1]

The full title is: Shylock, or the Merchant of Venice preserved: an entirely new reading of Shakespeare from an edition hitherto undiscovered by modern authorities, and which it is hoped may be received as the stray leaves of a Jerusalem hearty-joke and is referred to in the text as an "extravaganza".

The original text

A travesty based on Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, it was first performed at the Olympic Theatre, London, in 1849. Published by T.H. Lacy, London, in 1850.

See also The Merchant of Venice

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1860: Performed as Shylock, or The Merchant of Venice Preserved by the Cape Town Theatrical Club in the Theatre Royal on 29 March, with Helping Hands (Taylor). The brass band of the Cape Royal Rifles also performed.

1867: Possibly the play performed as a Shylock Burlesque on 5 March 1867 during a Benefit Performance for the Somerset Hospital in Cape Town was arranged by the officers of the 9th Regiment, led by Captain Borton, and performed in the Theatre Royal in association with Mrs Marie Duret and Mrs Cooper. It also featured the regimental orchestra, led by Signor Bonicoli and a performance of Slasher and Crasher (Morton).

1867: The performance of 5 March repeated on 13 September in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town, as a benefit for madame Marie Duret. Again done by Madame Duret and the Le Roy-Duret Company in association with Captain Borton and the officers of the 9th Regiment, and included a performance of the Macbeth Travestie (Talfourd).


Facsimile version of the first edition by T.H. Lacy, The Internet Archive[2]

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.145-6, 150, 227, 259, 279, .

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