Skip to main content


Written and directed by Robert Gillespie
Portia was specially written for the Women in the Arts Festival and first performed at Tristan Bates Theatre in December 2013.
Isabel: Clare Cameron

An actress is preparing to play her first major role as Portia in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. She has a small son and juggles with her responsibilities as a mother, her ambition, and how much she can impose on her partner. She also, as a leading player, explores the shades of meaning she and her director find in the play. She examines the freshness of his view of Shylock and the operations of prejudice. Is astonished at just how much it matters that Portia must impersonate a man in order to succeed in a man’s world – and that Shakespeare, so long ago, should have observed and commented on this.

“It takes talent and technique to engage an audience and to hold their attention for an hour whilst truthfully telling a story. Cameron does so with the illusion of naturalism, but in the role of Isabel she reveals a great flair for comic timing, relishing a good number of sardonic asides…  Portia is a brilliantly crafted monologue full of interesting ideas, and the show proved a terrific combination of two born story-tellers in symbiosis, making for a diverting, thought-provoking and funny hour of theatre… it’s a warm story of what makes us who we are, and the limitations imposed upon us by society, that will touch everyone in different ways”
Entertainment Focus