The London Merchant: A Critic’s Pick

January 11, 2012

A Play Produced by Blackfriars' Theatre
Photo by Michael Abrams, taken from the Backstage website
Karl Levitt of Backstage magazine recently gave a very positive review to the recent production of The London Merchant, a play co-produced by Blackfriars’ Theatre, a ministry of the Province of St. Joseph.  The play is also listed as a “Critic’s Pic” on the Backstage website.  The play, written by George Lillo, is important in this history of theater as “the first bourgeois tragedy”.  It is so called because, as Mr. Levitt notes, “instead of presenting the usual upper strata of English society, it focused on the merchant class, with characters that were immediately recognizable to a middle-class theatergoing audience. For Lillo, with his accent on Christian morality, this emerging group of capitalists was just as worthy of a fall from grace as their supposed betters.” The review highlights the “astute direction” of the play, its “well-spoken production” and “pleasing bare-boards simplicity”.  Mr. Levitt also heaps praises on the main actors, especially the lead actor whose performance “speaks well for the actor’s future.”  Mr Levitt concludes his review by encouraging “any student of dramatic history” to “hurry to make the acquaintance of Millwood and George and finally give George Lillo a welcome to New York.” For the full review of the play, see the Backstage website. The London Merchant is by the Storm Theatre and Blackfriars Repertory Theatre at the Theatre of the Church of Notre Dame, 405 W. 114th St., NYC. Jan. 9–28. Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m. (Additional performance Thu., Jan. 12, 7:30 p.m.; no performance Sat., Jan. 14, 2 p.m.) (212) 868-4444 or  

More News & Events