It’s been a huge year for Melbourne-based actors’ collective Shakespeare Republic. After an amazing run of gathering up awards everywhere they went, they have recently launched their next round of videos.
Season Two of the Shakespeare Republic series will be appearing over 2017. These are beautifully produced soliloquies from Shakespeare’s most famous characters, interpreted by a wide range of talented actors.
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.”
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!
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.
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.
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:
Just one month to go until the day itself – 23 April, the anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and therefore the perfect time to reflect on what kind of humans we are capable of being. Shakespeare always wrote masterfully from the perspective of the excluded and marginalised in society. While we have no recorded political statements in his own voice, we do have the words of someone who was clear-eyed about the damage that will be wrought when prejudice gains power.
Give a few minutes to listening to Sir Ian McKellen speak the part of Sir Thomas More from the play of that name (a collaborative work from Shakespeare and several other poets). The piece is an apt reminder of what it really means to allow ourselves to be governed by what is worst in ourselves. I think it shows Shakespeare’s exceptional talent for imagining himself into other peoples’ place.
Here is the giddyingly learned Sylvia Morris at The Shakespeare Blog with all kinds of background on this play, its history and relevance.
And here is Harriet Walter with the same speech. Perhaps some Australian actors might like to add their version?
A little game courtesy of the students from NUTS (the NSW University Theatrical Society). Can you tell which of Shakespeare’s plays is being represented by the cunningly performed tableaux?
Let’s start with an easy one:
2. Another warm-up to get you into the swing of the game:
3. Here’s one we don’t see performed as often:
4. Getting a little tricker now:
5. A better known pastoral comedy. Not seen so often these days, but it used to be wildly popular:
6. Giving the History plays a look in:
7. What about this old favourite?
8. And another crowd-pleaser, but with a sad lack of blood in our props supply:
How did you do? Answers below…
Hamlet 2. A Midsummer Night’s Dream 3. All’s Well That Ends Well 4. Love’s Labours Lost 5. As You Like It 6. Henry IV 7. Romeo and Juliet 8. Macbeth (although that’s a wakizashi he’s holding, so technically it’s Throne of Blood – getting one in for the film buffs!)