Antonio is a wealthy and popular merchant in Venice. His friend Bassanio needs money to travel to Belmont, where he hopes he can marry the beautiful Portia. Antonio has no cash, so he goes to Shylock, a moneylender. Shylock will lend the money, but on one condition: if Antonio does not pay him back on time, Shylock can take "a pound of flesh" form Antonio. Will Antonio lose his life so that Bassanio can marry the woman he loves? The Express Publishing Showtime Readers is a brand new series of books at four levels, which introduce students to classic children´s stories in English, using a unique approach with special emphasis on dramatisation. Students first enjoy the story as a reading text in several two-page episodes with beautiful illustrations. Each episode is accompanied by language activities to help comprehension and consolidate learning. The same story is then brought to life as a complete musical play which students can perform at the end of the school year. Each reader includes a biography of the author, a brief summary of the plot, character descriptions and a picture dictionary. The accompanying audio CDs provide a fully-dramatised recording of both the reading text and the play, together with all songs, incidental music and sound effects. The Teacher´s book includes a key to the reading activities, plus the playscript with full stage directions, sheet music and lyrics for all the songs, as well as detailed suggestions about choreography, set design and construction, costumes and more. For classes without sufficient time to stage a full production of the play, there are charming cutout characters to be used in a "puppet theatre" presentation.