Category Archives: events

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)

24 – 26 November, Sydney.

Sibils presents…

For three shows only, this riotous classic of the comedy circuit will swoosh you through all the comedies, the histories, and yea verily the tragedies in 97 minutes.

In the finest tradition of really silly standup/revue/parody/high art of the greatest refinement and taste, and you can find it in Darlinghurst.

Cast: Josie Bray, Emily Burke and James Wilson
Director: Chris McKay

Creative Space 99 Backstage
Crown Lane
Behind 99 Crown St, Darlinghurst

Full details and tickets here.

A brief Midsummer Night’s dance in Wellington

25 – 27 November, Wellington

A revival, for four nights only, of the Royal New Zealand Ballet and Queensland Ballet’s co-production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“Created for the RNZB by one of the most sought after choreographers on the international stage, Liam Scarlett, A Midsummer Night’s Dream was an overnight sensation.

Be transported to a fantastical world of dazzling dance, music and enchantment. Lovers, fairies, mischief and moonlight conspire in Shakespeare’s classic tale, vividly retold with sparkling steps and Mendelssohn’s famous score.”

It does look like a sublimely beautiful way to while away a spring evening.

Full details and bookings here.

Crowd of ballet dancers in blue tutus, posing.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Photo credit: Stephen A’Court. COPYRIGHT ©Stephen A’Court

Thoughts on Henry V

22 November, Canberra

Public Seminar at the ANU:

“Making Memories: Performing Research on Henry V in Australia”

Leaders in scholarship on Shakespeare in the theatre, Dr Kate Flaherty (ANU) and Dr Rob Conkie (La Trobe) are joining to speak on Australia’s engagement with Shakespeare’s Henry V in performance, as a commentary on war, on nation and on history.

“When the first ANZAC Day (25 April 1916) collided with the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death (23 April 1916), a special kind of challenge was issued to the Australian commemorative calendar. To this day productions of Henry V still bear traces of the ways in which the newly federated nation met this challenge. From a newsreel of a ‘Shakespeare in the Schools’ on the steps of the ANZAC memorial in 1955, to the 1995 Bell Shakespeare production featuring ‘diggers’, to the 2014 Bell production which couched its meditation of war politics in the context of the London blitz, Australian treatments of the play map a specifically Australian politics of war remembrance.”

On campus at ANU, Tuesday 22 November, 4.15 – 5.30pm, Humanities Research Centre Conference Room.

No charge, all welcome, light refreshments provided.

Making Memories

Group of 1940s schoolchildren and teachers gathered around a book.
A scene from the 2015 Bell Shakespeare production of Henry V

ANZSA conference kicking off

17 – 19 November, Hamilton.

“Shakespeare at the Edges”

Every second year, whether or not there is an anniversary of note, Shakespeare scholars from the antipodes meet to share their latest ideas and research. ANZSA – the Australia and New Zealand Shakespeare Association – is a loosely associated and highly interdisciplinary collective, so the conference is always an opportunity to catch up on all kinds of areas, literary, historic and performative.

The location moves around Australia and New Zealand. This time it is at the University of Waikato, so we hope everyone stays safe from any aftershocks. At present everything will be going ahead as originally planned.

Have a look at the ANZSA website to follow what is going on.

Small boat in blue water below cliffs. Text: dates of conference.

Beyond 400: New Shakespeares

15 November, Melbourne

The University of Melbourne will be hosting a one-day symposium considering the way ahead, after a year of Shakespeare 400 commemorative events.

An impressive lineup of international speakers will contribute. Keynote speakers include:

Defining the BBC 2012 and 2016 Shakespeare Seasons in Festival Terms: Dr Sarah Olive, University of York

Shakespeare and the digital sphere: performance and the public in the RSC / Google+’s Midsummer Night’s Dreaming: Dr Erin Sullivan, Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham

Defining Shakespeare: Professor John Jowett, Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham

Canon, Chronology and Collaboration in Shakespeare’s Early Career: Dr Will Sharpe, Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham

Check out this flyer for full blogs of the key speakers: beyond400

Papers will also be given by Laurie Johnson, Mark O’Connor, Paul Kauffman, David Rowland, and your humble correspondent.

From the University of Melbourne website:

After a year-long celebration of the quartercentenary 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 from the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham and the University of York to focus on questions of editing and performance.

The day runs 9am – 4pm, and is free of charge.

Full details here.

Auckland Pop-Up Globe New Season

Born out of pure passion and determination, it is only fitting that New Zealand’s Pop-Up Globe theatre should continue to thrive on the same.

This gorgeous project, which manages to be research, art and entertainment all at once, will be returning early in 2017, giving New Zealand artists and audiences another chance to experience the joy and wonder of this unique space.

Interior of open-air Globe with actors in period costume.
Twelfth Night

Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Othello, and Henry V comprise the newly announced season.

The 2017 season will run from February 23 to May 14 and tickets are on sale now.

Here is an interview with founder and Artistic Director Miles Gregory.

Posters for the 4 plays listed above, with composite portraits.

Shakespeare in the Opera House

27 October, Brisbane.

The next instalment of the University of Queensland’s series of Shakespearean events, “The Delighted Spirit”, as usual supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, is a free lunchtime concert showcasing a selection of wonderfully talented emerging vocal performers.

This concert presents excerpts from some of the nineteenth century’s best-loved Shakespearean operas, including Thomas’s Hamlet (1868), Verdi’s Macbeth (1847), Nicolai’s Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (The Merry Wives of Windsor) (1848), and Charles-François Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette (1867).

Directed by Vanessa Strydom (UQ School of Music)

No RSVP required, just go along and hear some beautiful voices.

Thursday, 27 October 2016, 1:00pm

Nickson Room (434), Zelman Cowan Building (51), University of Queensland St Lucia

Full details here.

Text: The Delighted Spirit UQ2016

Shakespeare 400 Perth Festival

22 October, Perth.

A full day of events at the beautiful campus of the University of Western Australia (they have peacocks).

Shakespeare Shenanigans perform stage combat scenesIn this year full of commemorations, the largest full-day celebration to take place in Australia is still to come. The Shakespeare 400 Perth Festival is free, family friendly and packed with events grand and small, from the sublime and the serious to the silly.

Man and woman in Elizabethan dress.
Expect to see all kinds of characters

Starting at midday, with seven different on-campus locations, you can encounter strolling players, listen to some songs or sonnets, or get lost in the Forest of Arden. There are games, stalls, scenes performed, an insult-flinging competition, and even the chance to involve yourself in Romeo and Juliet’s balcony scene. There are lots of activities for children – remember that most Halloween children’s games date back to the middle ages. There are far too many events to list here, so click through to their printable schedule and plan for your favourites.

Details of the full day’s schedule here.

Lots of frolics are promised for all.

Shakespeare’s #QandA moment has arrived

5 September, Sydney.

Earlier in the year we posted a clip from the ABC’s current affairs talk show Q&A, in which host Tony Jones coaxed a commitment from Germaine Greer to return for more Shakespeare talk.

Greer and Q&A have followed through with a special edition of the program, arranged in conjunction with the Festival of Dangerous Ideas and filmed at the Sydney Opera House. They have assembled an exceptional panel to converse and comment, and I hope we will see some stimulating questions.

Join Q&A for a Shakespeare special on Monday 5th September from 8.30pm at the Sydney Opera House.

Answering your questions is this stellar panel:

The founder of the Bell Shakespeare company John Bell
Shakespeare scholar Germaine Greer
Actor and writer Kate Mulvany
Indigenous performer Kylie Farmer, who is translating the Bard into the Nyungar language
Philosopher A.C. Grayling

Would you like to join the debate? If you would like to be part of the audience, you can register here.

The show is broadcast live on the ABC at 9.35pm on Monday.

How dangerous is mercy?

4 September, Sydney.

This event is already close to selling out, so move with a bridegroom’s fresh alacrity if you want tickets.

The Sydney Opera House Festival of Dangerous Ideas this year will include a cross-disciplinary session inspired by The Merchant of Venice which is sure to be fascinating.

In an innovative format, a performance of the trial scene from The Merchant of Venice will accompany a panel discussion with experts offering literary, philosophical and legal perspectives on the issues raised by this passage.

From the SOH website:

“The quality of mercy is not strained: It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven. / Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed: It blessed him that gives, and him that takes.” – Portia, The Merchant of Venice

Have we lost the quality of mercy? If we aim only for what is fair, or for justice, do we narrow the scope for something better? Is there still room for mercy in a secular state?

Sydney Opera House and Bell Shakespeare collaborate to bring the courtroom session from The Merchant of Venice to life and focus on contemporary dilemmas of mercy, justice and the law.

Speakers: Deng Adut, A.C. Grayling, Germaine Greer and Michael Kirby, Chaired by Jane Caro

Cast: John Bell (Duke), Brian Lipson (Shylock), Andrea Demetriades (Portia), James Evans (Antonio), Damien Strouthos (Bassanio), Jacob Warner (Gratiano), Directed by Peter Evans

Full details here.