Past Productions

The Merchant of Venice (2011)

"A true ensemble performance that shows an affinity with the play and its characters... Rob Pensalfini is a stand out as Shylock." - Joe Jurisevic (BrizTix)


  • Preview: Wed 21 Sep 7.30pm (Discounted tickets!)
  • Gala Night: Fri 23 Sep 7.30pm (Mingle with the cast and crew and enjoy food and refreshments after the show)
  • Q&A: Thursdays after the show (20-minute Question and Answer session with the cast and creative team)
  • Season: 22 - 24 Sep; 29 Sep - 2 Oct; and 6 - 9 Oct (See below for times)
  • Duration: 2 hours (including 20 min interval)
  • Venue: The Amphitheatre, Roma Street Parkland
Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Week 1 Sep 21
Sep 22
+ Q&A
Sep 23
7:30pm Gala
Sep 24
2pm Matinee
Week 2   Sep 29
+ Q&A
Sep 30
Oct 1
2pm Matinee
Oct 2
Week 3   Oct 6
+ Q&A
Oct 7
Oct 8
2pm Matinee
Oct 9

Refreshments: Freshly brewed coffee, cold drinks and cookies will be available for purchase from the Coffee Zip mobile coffee cart prior to each performance and during interval.


  • Preview: $20
  • Full: $30
  • Concession: $20 *
  • Group Discount (10+): $20

* Concessions are for full-time students, pensioners, health care card holders, MEAA card holders, and 4ZZZ subscriber card holders

Book Online button

Phone bookings are available at (07) 3365 3269 or 0477 074 671 - leave a message and our friendly front-of-house staff will call you back as soon as possible. Please note that phone bookings will incur a $3 booking fee.

"All That Glisters Is Not Gold"

Following the dark and compelling Richard III in 2010, QSE returns this year with William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.

Supported by a brilliant directorial team including major international Shakespeare director, Curt L. Tofteland, founder of the internationally acclaimed Shakespeare Behind Bars Program, and Crystal Arons, selected as a top 20 director for Short and Sweet Brisbane, The Merchant of Venice tackles tough realities of prejudice and exclusion through the wheelings and dealings of commerce in 16th century Venice.

When the generous but anti-Semitic merchant Antonio must default on a large loan for a friend, the abused and bitterly vengeful Jewish moneylender, Shylock, demands the gruesome payment of a pound of Antonio's flesh.

According to Tofteland, who brings thirty-three years of professional theatre experience as co-director, the underlying themes of prejudice and intolerance are as relevant today as they were 400 years ago. "The 'insider' [Antonio] is generous to a fault with his 'kind' and an anti-Semite to the 'other' [Shylock] but will use the Jew's usury for his own benefit."

With a ten-strong ensemble cast, featuring senior lecturer in linguistics and drama at the University of Queensland, Dr Rob Pensalfini (star of Richard III), as Shylock, QSE's passion and skill brings to life one of the best scripts ever written in the language.

"In this play, everything is commerce, including the trade of people, in marriage, servitude, or slavery," says Pensalfini. "The conflation of commerce and the human reaches its absurd but logical conclusion in the pound of flesh."

Supported by an original score of live music enabling actors and audience alike to co-inhabit the world of the play, QSE's The Merchant of Venice will have the Roma Street Parkland immersed in a timeless world where everything is skewed, a world of fluidity that brings the mirror to us all, revealing hidden prejudices.

"Meaning incandesces from the spoken word. It crackles in the air and we all catch fire. Comprehension is instantaneous, the effect, miraculous."
- QSE audience member

Cast and Crew

  • Directors: Crystal Arons and Curt Tofteland
  • Production Manager: Zac Kelty
  • Stage Manager: Rex Verdin
  • Assistant Director: Kristin Weir
  • Designer: Samantha Hough
  • Musicians: Jane Cameron, Gavin Edwards, Rob Pensalfini, Colin Smith
  • Crystal Arons - Launcelot Gobbo; Tubal
  • Jane Cameron - Nerissa; Old Gobbo
  • Gavin Edwards - Lorenzo; Prince of Arragon
  • Matthew Filkins - Gratiano
  • Henri Merriam - Portia
  • Rebecca Murphy - Salerio; Duchess of Venice; Prince of Morocco
  • Rob Pensalfini - Shylock
  • Ben Prindable - Antonio
  • Colin Smith - Bassanio
  • Aimee Stokes - Jessica; Solanio


The Amphitheatre, Roma Street Parkland

Click here for the official Roma Street Parkland map, or here for a Google Map to the venue.

The audience is seated onstage in the performance area, which is under cover. In the event of very heavy rain and/or high winds, the performance/seating area may become unsafe and the show may be cancelled - in this case, exchanges/refunds can be arranged at Front of House.

How To Get There

Train: The Roma Street train station is located directly beside Roma Street Parkland. All suburban trains stop here providing easy access to the Parkland by using Platform 10 exit.

Bus: Brisbane City Council buses stop at several locations near Roma Street Parkland. Visit the TransLink website for more information.

Car: There are two main road entrances:

Roma Street entrance - driving towards the City on Roma Street, past the Transit Centre and Holiday Inn, and turn left.

Wickham Terrace - Gregory Terrace - College Road intersection - driving out of the City along Wickham Terrace, take a left hand turn before the intersection lights straight into the Parkland and drive down Parkland Boulevard.

There are 200 car parks within the Roma Street Parkland grounds and a further 2,000 in close proximity. A 4-hour limit applies to bays on Parkland Boulevard from 6am-8pm.

Disability Parking: Disability parking bays are located near The Lookout, at College Close carpark, on Parkland Boulevard near Melange Café and on the lower level opposite Queensland Railway Platform 10. There are a small number of Disability Parking bays located near the Amphitheatre. No fees apply for Disability Parking at any time.