Smashed glass off stage foreshadows the battle of Cable Street in 1936 though there are also echoes of Kristallnacht in the intermittent sound.
At the centre stands Oberman’s Shylock, the Jewish moneylender who demands “a pound of flesh” from Antonio
to exact justice and is punished with a forced conversion to Christianity as part of the play’s rather contrived happy ending
Antonio is a Blackshirt while Portia (Hannah Morrish) is a Mitford-style socialite
Both are charming aristocrats, coolly chilling in their amicability.
This Shylock is a matriarch and pawnbroker, dignified and steely, who is spat upon and verbally abused by powerful men on the street and has antisemitic graffiti daubed on her house
Those threats and assaults carry a gendered menace. Oberman plays the role with a righteous anger and great inner strength