Melbourne University has just launched its own Shakespeare 400 site, curated by the inexhaustible David McInnis. It’s packed with events being hosted by the University throughout the year, including lectures, workshops and performances.
If you’re in Melbourne at any time during 2016, be sure to check in with their site to see what’s coming up.
Another outing for Margaret of Anjou, previously seen in Perth.
A rehearsed reading at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, directed by Kim Durban, and performed by the Third Years of the Arts Academy, Federation University Australia.
Margaret of Anjou, is a ‘new’ play by William Shakespeare, constructed by Elizabeth Schafer and Philippa Kelly. Which is basically the good bits of the three Henry VI plays, and the mad bits of Richard III. Watching Queen Margaret, as depicted by Shakespeare, is to travel along on a roller-coaster ride of a life, if the roller-coaster was made out of filleting knives and scorpions.
Saturday April 23rd at 4pm.
Preceded by a performance of “Shakespeare’s Songs and Sonnets” at 2.30pm. Students of the Arts Academy will present some favourites of Shakespeare’s sonnets, and a cappella group VOX will sing a selection of songs from Shakespeare.
Entry is by donation, but tickets can be pre-booked.
The University of Adelaide and Silents Now are having a special screening of the Asta Neilsen Hamlet, accompanied by live, improvised music.
The first Hamlet ever to appear on film was Sarah Bernhardt, in a roughly ten minute piece designed to demonstrate the possibilities of film. The first full length feature film version of Hamlet also starred a woman as the Prince, Danish actress Asta Neilsen.
“To my mind there were just two geniuses of the silent film era: Asta and Chaplin. It is very hard for anyone now to conceive the huge scale of Asta’s personality in Germany. Wherever we went, even in the smallest towns, crowds immediately gathered round her.” – Sven Gade, Director of Hamlet, in The Screenplay of My Life (1941).
For those interested in the extensive, expansive history of actresses playing Hamlet, Women As Hamlet: Performance and Interpretation by Tony Howard details the whole story.
One chance only to get the Asta Neilsen experience, and see the first Hamlet feature film on the big screen.
Paul Kelly is scheduled to release his new album Seven Sonnets and a Song on 23 April, to mark the Shakespeare 400 anniversary.
Kelly, in consort with some of the highly accomplished Australian musicians he often works with, sings new settings of six of Shakespeare’s sonnets. “So long lives this, and this gives life to thee” – Shakespeare could never have guessed how true his words would turn out to be, or what fresh forms this life of words would take.
The ‘sonnets’ portion of the work is rounded out by Vika Bull singing a poem by Sir Philip Sidney, providing an apt proof of Kelly’s eye for talent that doesn’t have as high a profile as it deserves, no matter what the era.
The song is from Twelfth Night, one of the party pieces of the wise fool Feste, ‘O Mistress Mine’.
Kelly has long been identified as much as poet as a popular music artist, so at some level this kind of project coming from him causes little of surprise, though much of delight.
Kelly is making the album available digitally at midnight Greenwich Mean Time on 22 April, as the morning of the 23rd begins. Later that day he will give a performance of this special work at the State Library of NSW. He will also be speaking about Shakespeare and performing several sonnets at Sydney Writers’ Festival on Monday, 16 May.
Culture Club at the Sydney Opera House has a morning discussion panel on the theme “If Shakespeare were alive today…”
Chaired by Jane Caro, the speakers are actor Michelle Doake and directors Damien Ryan and Peter Evans.
From the Sydney Opera House website:
“If Shakespeare Were Alive Today… What would he write about, and for whom? Marking 400 years on from Shakespeare’s death, Bell Shakespeare’s Peter Evans (Artistic Director), actor Michelle Doake and director Damien Ryan discuss some ‘what ifs’ in the world of this legendary artist. What would he make of the 21st Century? What do contemporary audiences get out of the classics? If Shakespeare were alive what would he be writing, and perhaps more importantly, for whom?”
Tickets are only $15 for those who somehow manage to free themselves up for an 11am gig.
Lucky Auckland is having a Globe Theatre delivered to their doorstep.
An amazing project in New Zealand is seeing a full-scale replica of the Globe built, used, then dismantled over the course of 2016. Lots of different companies, loads of plays, workshops, classes and experimental performance work.
Led by Artistic Director Miles Gregory, the core of the programme lies in full-scale professional productions of Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet. “These two masterpieces are performed by a cast of professional actors brought together into a new, specially-formed ensemble repertory company, that have worked with world experts to bring you the so-called ‘shock of the old’: the experience of seeing Shakespeare’s plays performed in the space for which they were written.” (Pop-Up Globe: About Us) However, the venture is offering a frame for a much winder range of projects.
If I were there I would camp out under their makeshift eves and see everything, before it vanishes like Titania’s court.
The University of Western Australia and the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions are facilitating a fabulous opportunity to hear the words of one of Shakespeare’s most compelling and yet least performed characters.
Queen Margaret d’Anjou appears in four of Shakespeare’s plays, more than any other character. However, three are the sequential parts of Henry VI, which is rarely staged, and her role in the much more popular Richard III is often (disgracefully!) cut. When her portions of this history cycle are put together what emerges is a vivid, striking portrait of multi-faceted woman who is both victim and villain, triumphant and vanquished, admirable and abhorrent at different points in her long life.
Date: Thursday 18 February 2016 Time: 1–2pm Venue: Callaway Music Auditorium, UWA Contact: Bob White (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A wonderful opportunity to hear a gathering of international experts on a too-neglected play.
This symposium runs in conjunction with the performances of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor on the New Fortune Theatre, 16–18 February 2016. It brings together international experts on the play and on theatre history.
Further details from Bob White (email@example.com)
Rob Conkie (La Trobe University): Director The Merry Wives of Windsor, New Fortune Theatre Alison Findlay (Lancaster University, UK): Author Women in Shakespeare: A Dictionary (2010) Philippa Kelly (Resident Dramaturg, the California Shakespeare Theater): Author of The King and I (Shakespeare Now! series) Helen Ostovich (McMaster University, Canada): Online edition The Merry Wives of Windsor, forthcoming Peter Reynolds, (University of Newcastle upon Tyne): Senior Honorary Research Fellow, Centre for the History of Emotions Elizabeth Schafer (Royal Holloway College, University of London): writing a performance history of The Merry Wives of Windsor for the Manchester University Press Shakespeare in Performance series Robert White (UWA): Author The Merry Wives of Windsor: A New Critical Introduction
Date: Wednesday 17 February 2016
Venue: Arts Lecture Room 5 (Arts G.61) and the New Fortune Theatre, The University of Western Australia
Registration: This is a free event but numbers will be limited so please confirm attendance in advance with Pam Bond (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Shakespeare and Music Studies: From theory into practice.
Monash University. Hosted by The Monash Shakespeare Company & The Melbourne Shakespeare Society
One-day Symposium. Call for papers:
When the field of Shakespeare and music studies emerged in the late-nineteenth century, it mainly concerned itself with the problems reconstructing the musical materials and practices of early modern theatre cultures. Since then, the field has evolved to encompass a vast body of methodologies and contexts, incorporating discussions of literature and history, and linking them to musical and theatre practices. As the field stands today, it is characterised by its eclecticism, even as it asserts its intrinsic value to Shakespeare studies more generally.
This symposium calls upon these diverse areas of expertise that make up the modern field to assist in identifying and developing strategies for the integration of music into productions of Shakespeare. We invite submissions from theatre and music practitioners, academics in literature, theatre, history and music studies, as well as postgraduate and undergraduate students, to contribute to this conversation. We impose no particular restrictions on paper topics, provided they are generally relevant to the field of Shakespeare and music studies. However, the following questions may act as a guide to submissions:
Why should music be considered a priority in the production of Shakespeare?
How can an understanding of early-modern music practice be applied to modern theatre productions?
How can knowledge of modern musical practices be applied to the staging of Shakespeare?
What specific challenges do composers face when setting Shakespeare’s language to music?
What types of musical resources can small theatre companies employ when staging Shakespeare?
How can theatre directors employ music in audition, rehearsal and production processes?
NB – Since the symposium will be practice-focused, we are also interested in considering workshop sessions.
Some travel bursaries will be available for interstate or international scholars. All submitted papers will also be considered for inclusion in an edited volume.
Please submit an abstract or proposal of approximately 200 words to email@example.com by 1st May 2016.
The University of Western Australia has an outdoor theatre built to the proportions of the Fortune Theatre, one of the public playhouses that operated in Early Modern London. Built by Philip Henslowe, the surviving documents detailing its specifications have been a treasure trove for theatre historians.
UWA uses the space for investigations into original practice, and for lively, fun, delicious productions. Next week only, you can catch Shakespeare’s most absolutely Elizabethan comedy performed there: The Merry Wives of Windsor.