This was the week of the Helpmann Awards, Australia’s annual awards for live performance.
The award for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play went to Mark Leonard Winter for his performance as Edgar in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of King Lear.
Edgar is always a demanding, virtuoso role, that allows a younger actor to show his mettle. The review of King Lear in the Guardian said, “Mark Leonard Winter as Edgar debased into the madman Poor Tom is also wonderful. His nakedness draped only by a tendril of tinsel, Winter is so persuasive in his lunacy that when Lear drops his own pants too, and he and Tom stumble around the storm together – real rain beating down on their uncovered skulls – chaos and comedy perfectly collide.”
One of the highlights of Shakespeare performance in Sydney this year will surely be Belvoir’s production of Twelfth Night.
Twelfth Night manages to be a joyous festival of inversions – “Girls are boys, boys are girls, puritans are lusting suitors, drunkards are moralists, and fools, of course, are wise” – while also revealing just how destabilised these changes to the expected order of things can make us feel. It identifies love absolutely with this feeling that the earth is tipping beneath our feet. “Even so quickly may one catch the plague.” It also shows love as the search for the right matched self – order is restored when we finally see clearly what is in front of us. It is for these things that this play has remained so adored, and so often performed.
Director Eamon Flack has leant heavily towards a cast of veteran actors who know and love their Shakespeare. This will be a chance to see a much loved text spoken by actors who understand fully the rhythms and nuances that create Shakespeare’s characters. It will be interesting to see what is brought to the story by an Orsino who really should know better, or a Malvolio who really, REALLY should know better by now.
This play’s seeming foolery forces us to ask the question: how can we know for sure who it is we love?
23 July – 4 September 2016 Previews
8pm Saturday 23 July
6.30pm Sunday 24 July
8pm Tuesday 26 July Opening Night
8pm Wednesday 27 July Unwaged Performance
2pm Thursday 1 September Sunday Forum
3pm 4 September Times
Tuesday & Wednesday 6.30pm, Thursday & Friday 8pm,
Saturday 2pm & 8pm, Sunday 5pm Box Office 02 9699 3444 belvoir.com.au
CFP deadline 1 September, conference November 17-19.
“Shakespeare at the Edges”
The Australian and New Zealand Shakespeare Association holds a conference every two years. In 2016 this is taking place at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand.
Those who are still deciding whether to make the trip over the pond in November now have an extra few weeks to submit a proposal for a presentation.
The final call for papers for ANZSA2016: Shakespeare at the Edges will now be Thursday September 1. Abstracts submitted before the final date will be considered and the proposers notified progressively.
From the website:
“The Conference will feature plenary and panel sessions, live performance and film screenings. Conference highlights include keynote addresses by Douglas Bruster (Shakespeare and the Question of Culture, 2003, and Shakespeare and the Power of Performance, 2008 with Robert Weimann); Lisa Hopkins (Shakespeare on the Edge, 2005, and Renaissance Drama on the Edge, 2014); a special performance for delegates of Regan Taylor’s commedia-inspired Maori adaptation: Solothello; delegates will be able to attend Carving in Ice’s production of Love’s Labour’s Lost in the playhouse on the University Campus. Seats will be reserved for Friday November 18. The Conference dinner wil be at the Green Dragon Pub, Hobbiton, 45 minutes drive from the University of Waikato.”
You have to credit the allure of an academic conference that holds its official dinner in Hobbiton.
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