Symposium announcement and CFP

15 November, Melbourne.

Beyond 400: New Shakespeares
A Symposium

Logo: large pink 400 with Shakespeare Melbourne superimposed.

After a year-long celebration of the quatercentenary of Shakespeare’s death, it’s time to move from reflection to future directions. What will Shakespearean text and performance look like, beyond the 400 year anniversary? This symposium will draw on the expertise of its four keynote speakers to focus on questions of editing and performance.

There is no registration fee, and auditors are extremely welcome. Please register your intention to attend here.

Four varied and exciting Keynote Speakers are scheduled, but there is room for interest in further papers.

“Defining Shakespeare”
Prof. John Jowett (Shakespeare Institute)

“Defining the BBC 2012 & 2016 Shakespeare Seasons in Festival Terms”
Dr Sarah Olive (York University)

“Canon, Chronology and Collaboration in Shakespeare’s Early Career”
Dr Will Sharpe (Shakespeare Institute)

“Shakespeare and the Digital Sphere: Performance and the Public in the RSC/Google+’s Midsummer Night’s Dreaming
Dr Erin Sullivan (Shakespeare Institute)

If you would like to present a paper, proposals for short, 10 minute papers are now invited. Please send your name, a 100 word bio, and a 200 word (max) abstract to Miriam Webster ( by Monday 01 August 2016.

Full details here, including information about the speakers and their presentations.

N.B. This symposium has been scheduled such that ANZSA (Australia and New Zealand Shakespeare Association) delegates heading to Hamilton can come to Melbourne first, spend the following day (16 Nov) in transit, and arrive comfortably for the start of the ANZSA conference at the University of Waikato.

Shakespeare and Greer in The Conversation

Anyone who has read The Female Eunuch is aware of Germaine Greer’s long abiding interest in Shakespeare. All who have followed her subsequent work would be familiar with the short Introduction to Shakespeare she published in 2002 for Oxford University Press, and with her incredibly dense and yet illuminating historic work Shakespeare’s Wife.

In today’s Conversation, Rachel Buchanan, an Archivist at the University of Melbourne, has used what appear to be staggeringly extensive records held there to chart the influence of Shakespeare and other Renaissance writers on Greer’s development as an author and thinker.

I will go back and read it over again in detail as soon as the panic attack from thinking about anyone ever preserving or having access to my own undergraduate lecture notes subsides.

How Shakespeare helped shape Germaine Greer’s feminist masterpiece.

Book cover showing torso of woman in blue Renaissance gown, holding a flower.
The cover of Shakespeare’s Wife

Taymor’s Dream screening in Melbourne

27 July, Melbourne.

Julie Taymor is acknowledged as one of the most thrilling directors of Shakespeare in the world today. Her New York production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was a masterpiece of word, music and image building into something beyond an ordinary piece of theatre.

Man in donkey head costume and small child in white makeup.
A still from the production

Supported by the University of Melbourne’s Shakespeare 400 initiative, and by the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Australian audiences will finally have the chance to immerse themselves in Taymor’s exquisite multi-media, hallucinatory stage world. “Taymor’s Dream was released on film at the Toronto International Film Festival in late 2014 and has had limited release primarily in the UK and North America. This screening for the University of Melbourne community is the Australian premiere.”

Hopefully this will be an inspiration to other cities.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016 from 7:00pm to 9:30pm
Federation Hall – 7-17 Grant Street #5, Southbank, VIC 3006

Tickets are free, but you can book ahead: Full details here.

This year’s Shakespeare at NIDA

7 – 15 June, Sydney.

The National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney has always incorporated Shakespeare into their actor training courses.

In June the current group will give public performances of Twelfth Night (directed by Tom Wright) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (directed by Iain Sinclair). This is always a delightful chance to see the next crop of actors whose names we will all come to know giving fresh and enthusiastic performances.

Full details and bookings here for Twelfth Night and here for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Young woman's bare back with pink and leafy shadows.

Call for actors: Margaret of Anjou in Sydney

A rehearsed reading of Shakespeare’s ‘new’ play Margaret of Anjou will be performed for two nights: at the Io Myers theatre at the University of NSW on Friday 8 July and at the Theatre of the University of Notre Dame on Thursday 18 August.

Actors of all kinds are invited to take part. The play has a large cast,  lots of terrific juicy roles, and we will be cross-casting women playing men a great deal.

Long sword.

Previously seen in Perth and Ballarat, but not yet performed in Sydney, this play combines elements from the 3 parts of Henry VI and Richard III, to centre the figure of the extraordinary Queen who lives through more than any other character in Shakespeare.

The piece goes for a little over an hour. I estimate 4 rehearsals, but that may be adjusted according to everybody’s feeling about their availability and the needs of the piece. This is not a paying gig, so I will be respectful of people’s time commitments.

Directed by Anna Kamaralli, edited by Liz Schafer, dramaturged by Philippa Kelly, and written by William Shakespeare!

Details for auditions, or just to come in and have a chat about being involved:

  • Location – Notre Dame Theatre, Broadway Campus, Chippendale
  • Times available – Thursdays 5 & 12 May, 4.30 – 7.30pm, other times by arrangement
  • Bring – a monologue in verse or a sonnet
  • Please write to Anna at to hear more, or to arrange a time.
Logo with P in shape of a box.
Supported by The Puzzle Theatre Company