Margaret of Anjou arrives in Sydney

8 July, 18 August, Sydney.

“This spark will prove a raging fire.”

A French Queen of England, a loyal adulteress, a devoted leader but a devastating foe, Queen Margaret is one of Shakespeare’s most vivid renderings of a historic character. Intrigue, betrayal, romance and revenge coloured the life of this brilliant and compelling woman.

In the 400 years since William Shakespeare’s death, countless theatre makers have wrestled with the task that has become a constant in theatrical practice: how do we make this new? We have seen Hamlet played by lions, The Taming of the Shrew in a high school and Macbeth in a kitchen, but only a very brave few have had the ingenuity to take Shakespeare’s words and craft a new play, with ‘all the right words, but not necessarily in the right order’. One such impresario is Elizabeth Schafer, her chosen story that of the Wars’ Reddest Rose, Margaret of Anjou.

Straddling fifty-two years of history, three kings and no fewer than four of Shakespeare’s plays, the story of Queen Margaret is less a power parable, more a tale of the resilience, resolve and charisma that is demanded of a princess, queen, general and mother. Taken from her home in France and married to a foreign king, Margaret fights passionately for her new house. No such fight is without casualties.

Shakespeare Twentyscore and The Puzzle Productions invite you to two staged readings of Shakespeare’s ‘new’ play, Margaret of Anjou. Performances will take place at 7pm on the 8th of July at UNSW’s Io Myers Studio and the 18th of August at the University of Notre Dame Studio, Broadway.

A cast of 16 includes Claire Bird, Teresa Jakovich and Wendy Strehlow as Margaret, Chris Huntly-Turner as Suffolk, John Galea as King Henry VI, and Jane Bergeron as Richard III.

Some further background to the project and a short podcast from the Director are available here.

Margaret of Anjou by William Shakespeare

  • Tickets for 8 July (Io Myers Studio, UNSW) are $10.
  • The performance on 18 August (Notre Dame Studio) is free and unticketed.

For further information contact Anna at info@shakespearetwentyscore.org

Poster with superimposed stencilled rose. Text with details of performance, as above.

The Shakespeare Carnival is Here

18 June, Sydney.

Sport for Jove’s initiative to offer a creative platform to Shakespeare enthusiasts in high schools is all set to show itself to the world.

This coming Saturday, the State Carnival will showcase the best of the student pieces developed through this new opportunity to creatively engage with Shakespeare’s works.

All through this term schools around the state have been holding in-school and regional competitions in a range of performance and design categories, and now the finalists are ready for showtime. The evening’s performance is taking place at the Seymour Centre, and is open to the public. You can see tomorrow’s stars in shine in work that has been equal parts challenging, creative and inspiring.

Festival director Chris Tomkinson says, “There are a some wonderful performances and delightful talent on display across all the performance categories of song composition, dance, acting and design. Students have participated from all across the city, from many regions outside of Sydney and as far afield as Armidale.
Participants in the finals come from Wollongong, the Blue Mountains, Armidale and, of course, right across Sydney.”

There is no question the desire and the enthusiasm for such an event has been simmering away just waiting for a team like Sport for Jove to give it an outlet. Congratulations to all the students who took part, and the parents and teachers who supported them, and chookas to the finalists!

Tickets are only $20, you can book them here.

Logo, bright purple with graphic of hand with heart drawn on palm.

Shakespeare on Film

14-26 July, Melbourne

Presented by ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) in Association with University of Melbourne

Shakespeare on Film

This is a full-to-the-brim season including a whole slew of new films and glorious classics. Be sure to check their full programme.

“In association with the University of Melbourne ACMI presents an international touring program from the British Film Institute (BFI) and the British Council that explores the deep affinity between cinema and The Bard. With so much high drama, history and romance, it’s little wonder that William Shakespeare is credited with more film adaptations that any other writer. Special presentations include Play On! Shakespeare in Silent Cinema with a new score by the Globe musicians, and a digital restoration of Richard III with an exclusive on-stage discussion between Ian McKellen and Richard Loncraine recorded at BFI Southbank.”

Tickets $17/$13/$10, plus 3-session and 6-session passes.

Full details here.

Professional Learning Day: Interpreting Shakespeare

28 July, Melbourne.

From La Trobe University and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Interpreting Shakespeare is a professional learning day which marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

Thursday 28 July 2016, 9:30am to 3:30pm

Bring Shakespeare back to life in your classroom.

In conjunction with La Trobe University, ACMI invites teachers to bring Shakespeare back to life in their classrooms by spending a professional learning day Interpreting Shakespeare.

To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016, this one-day professional learning program offers teachers stimulating and thought-provoking approaches to reading and teaching Shakespeare texts. Focusing on moving image and theatrical interpretations of Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet, this all-day program offers a range of perspectives to re-enliven this educational rite of passage.

“If Shakespeare were alive and writing today, would he be a screenwriter? Would he be adapting Game of Thrones?” said ACMI Education Programmer Susan Bye. “Together with La Trobe University, ACMI has developed a range of exciting approaches to show how each time one of Shakespeare’s plays is adapted for the screen or performed on stage, he is reborn. This learning day will equip teachers with techniques that will not only ensure Shakespeare remains relevant to today’s students, but vital. Long live the bard!”

Presenters include members of the English, Drama and Cinema programs at La Trobe, ACMI’s team of expert educators and special guest, Dr David McInnis, Gerry Higgins lecturer in Shakespeare Studies, University of Melbourne.

Registration: Teacher $110, Student Teacher $70, includes morning tea, lunch and resource pack.

Click here for more information and to download the program.