Shakespeare's Globe

Portia played by Rachel Pickup

The Merchant of Venice (2015)
Written by: William Shakespeare

Rachel trained at RADA.

Theatre in the US includes: Private Lives, History Of Shakespeare’s Plays Uncovered, King Lear (Theatre for a New Audience); Act Without Words, Airswimming, Dancing at Lughnasa (Irish Rep); and An Ideal Husband.

Theatre in the UK includes: Bedroom Farce, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Miss Julie (Rose Theatre – Critics’ Circle nomination for Best Actress) King Lear (Old Vic); Criterion and The 39 Steps (West End); Julius Caesar, All’s Well that Ends Well, Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Troilus and Cressida, Dr. Foster and Paradox.

Film includes: Chronic (to be released this year), AKA, Basil and ESN.

Television includes: Elementary, Small Island, Garrow’s Law, Midsomer Murders, House Of Anubis, Victoria and Albert, Holby City, Doctors, and Dogtown.

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Performance

“I do love the trial, the moment of stopping him cutting the flesh. For all those people in the audience who really don’t know whether Antonio is going to have his flesh cut out of him or not, in that moment when I get to save the day with ‘tarry a little’, and you can hear a sigh of relief, or a gasp, or a nervous laugh… that’s thrilling.”

In her final interview, Rachel talks about the audience reactions to the play, performing in the Sam Wanamaker playhouse and her favourite moment in the play.

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Tech Week & Previews

“It’s a weird play. You can't try and gloss over the fact that there are these massive differences. And what I find incredible is the audience’s capacity to absolutely go with it, it’s surprising. It shouldn't be surprising because we’re human beings and so we do jump from one mood to the next. And I think that partly comes from being in the same light, buying into the same thing. I think that’s what makes the audience jump in with us.”

In her third interview Rachel describes her reaction after performing on the Globe stage for the first time, the audience’s reaction, and her various costumes.

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Rehearsals

"Portia is pretty impressive in terms of what she has the kahunas to go and do. She takes the power, takes control and goes off to sort things out and although she fails at first she ultimately does sort it out. I think she’s a woman not of her time, but maybe women for these times."

In her second interview Rachel talks about the rehearsal process, significant moments and her thoughts on Portia.

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Pre & Early Rehearsal

“There is this perception that Portia is pure, and merciful, and good. The whole quality of mercy speech, she seems to have been reduced to that in people’s minds and probably was in my mind. But there’s a hell of a lot more going on.”

In her first interview, Rachel talks about her initial impressions of Portia and the characters in the play, and what’s been happening in rehearsals so far.

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