Contemporary Canadian Literature with a Distinctly Urban Twist

Anvil Press



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  • us orders US 8.95
  • world (outside Canada/US) orders US 8.95

Shylock is an award-winning play about a Jewish actor who finds himself condemned by his own community for his portrayal of Shakespeare’s notorious Jew. Shylock has provided much fuel for the fiery debates surrounding censorship, historical revisionism, political correctness, and the thorny discussion of whether certain plays are suitable for contemporary productions—Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice amongst them.

“Mark Leiren-Young’s play is very strong and an important contribution to the vexed and vexing question of the alleged anti-Semitism of The Merchant of Venice.”
- Patrick Stewart, actor

Shylock should really run until the political correctness it so thoughtfully eviscerates has been bulldozed back into history’s sanitary landfill.”
- Malcolm Parry, The Vancouver Sun

“A passionate plea for reason, for literature, and for art. Shylock will be a hit because people are hungry for articulate, passionate arguments for intellectual sanity in a rapidly collapsing intellectual world. Hooray for Mark Leiren-Young.”
- Ken Brown, Culture Shock (Edmonton)

“Both entertaining and provocative. A perfect companion piece to The Merchant of Venice in any college or high-school discussion of Shakespeare’s controversial play.”
- Normand Berlin, professor of English, University of Mass., author The Secret Cause: A Discussion of Tragedy

“Dangerous, daring, and provocative.”
- Jo Ledingham, The Vancouver Courier

“I leapt at the opportunity to present Shylock at Vancouver’s Shakespeare Festival. It is a fascinating play. Bravo Leiren-Young! Bravo Shylock!”
- Christopher Gaze, Artistic Director, Bard on the Beach Theatre Company

“This is good storytelling that will make great theatre. A lively sense of the absurd is essential to any art form, none more so than performing on a live stage. Mark Leiren-Young has the talent and the guts to try and fly in this crowded and rarefied category. He will go a long way.”
- Peter C. Newman, author The Canadian Establishment

“Jewish gold!”
- Martin Millerchip, North Shore News

“Mark Leiren-Young’s play raises pertinent questions about not just the anti-Semitic nature of Shylock but whether theater should comfort or challenge its audience.”
- Curt Milton, Seattle Post Intelligencer

“An effective piece of writing. So much so that cleaning staff had to literally push-broom patrons from the lobby after the show had ended. The response was that lively.”
- Michael Turner, The National Post

“The play is a wondrous diatribe about art, the responsibilities of the artist, and about whether theatre exists to make people comfortable.”
- Gaetan Charlebois, The Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia

  • Publication: June 2001
  • ISBN: 9781895636123
  • Pages: 66 pp
  • Size: 5 x 8 inches

Mark Leiren-Young is a popular Canadian performer, playwright and journalist. His plays have been produced throughout Canada and his award-winning drama, the romantic fantasy Blueprints from Space received a staged reading at New York's Open Eye Theatre. Mark's first radio drama, Dim Sum Diaries, received international attention when it debuted on CBC's Morningside in 1991. Mark's humorous commentaries have appeared in such publications as The Hollywood Reporter, The Toronto Star, The Vancouver Sun, and The Georgia Straight. His writing has also appeared in The Utne Reader, TV Guide, This Magazine, The Globe and Mail, and the South China Morning Post. Leirin-Young has two plays published by Anvil Press: Shylock and Articles of Faith.

Books by Mark Leiren-Young