‘Who is this guy, Dad? What is he doing here?’ With an absent wife
and a daughter going off the rails, wealthy art collector and
philanthropist Simon Strulovitch is in need of someone to talk to.
So when he meets Shylock at a cemetery in Cheshire’s Golden
Triangle, he invites him back to his house. It’s the beginning of a
remarkable friendship. Elsewhere in the Golden Triangle, the rich,
manipulative Plurabelle (aka Anna Livia Plurabelle Cleopatra A
Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever Christine) is the face of her own
TV series, existing in a bubble of plastic surgery and lavish
parties. She shares prejudices and a barbed sense of humour with
her loyal friend D’Anton, whose attempts to play Cupid involve
Strulovitch’s daughter – and put a pound of flesh on the line.
Howard Jacobson’s version of The Merchant of Venice bends time to
its own advantage as it asks what it means to be a father, a Jew
and a merciful human being in the modern world.