Dallas Bill and The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

Date: 2008
Posted by: texasdallasbill
Cast: Dallas Bill (Shylock), Steve
Credits: none given
Duration: 5.16

Dallas Bill is a white-beared, hat-wearing Texan who delivers speeches from Shakespeare in a folksy, reassuring style style. In this example, friend Steve introduces him in a form that makes you think of a low-budget cable channel. It cuts to Bill who greets us with a ‘Howdy’ before giving us a bit of the background to play and character, followed by the “Hath not a Jew eyes?” speech. He tells us what the import of the speech is, particularly its meaning for the Christian community. Unfortunately Bill then goes on to inform his audience that Portia is Shylock’s daughter, which of course she isn’t. The “quality of mercy” speech follows, the video ending with his catchphrase “This is Dallas Bill, doing a bit of Will”. It’s a sort of Shakespeare’s thought for the day.

Other examples to be found on Dallas Bill’s YouTube channel include the most familiar lines from Macbeth, Henry V, The Tempest, and a decidely creepy take on Othello, featuring Steve (for some strange reason tied to a wall) and occasional support performer Dottie. Knowing in style without knowing much, odd but quite charming.

YouTube page
Texas Dallas Bill’s channel

3 thoughts on “Dallas Bill and The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

  1. John Harrison says:

    Yes, Bill does slip up by identifying Portia as Shylock’s daughter, but, as you’ll see if you play some of Bill’s other videos there is a lot of sound learning there and Bill’s readings are pretty good imho. I’m quite a fan

  2. bardbox says:

    I agree the readings are good. Though I find some of the comic stuff a bit odd, the videos overall are charming and thoughtful.

  3. dallas bill says:

    thank you for pointing out the mistake i made about portia and shylock. i needed to refresh my memory before shooting but i don’t always remember to do so, and i just let the camera start playing and i hate “take two.” whatever happens, that’s it.

    maybe i will take the “merchant of venice” or at least make mention of my flub. thanks.

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