Category Archives: news coverage

#Shakespeare400 Makes It To #QandA

For three and a half minutes.

I suspect that Sharman Stone actually knows very little about the way Shakespeare is taught in schools. Joseph Tawadros seemed vaguely irritated at being called upon to to praise an Anglophone white dude when there is a world full of literary artists of other ethnicities who don’t get fussed over, but he was too polite to say so explicitly. Lisa Singh’s unaffected enthusiasm was charming.

However you feel about Germaine Greer as a social and political commentator, her credentials as a historian are unassailable. And she does love her Shakespeare. I hope Tony Jones follows through on his impulsive suggestion.

UWA Shakespeare in The Conversation

The online journal for academics in a magazine-ish mood has a piece up from distinguished Shakespeare in Performance scholar Liz Schafer. It reflects on the work she has just been involved in in Perth, staging the Merry Wives of Windsor and Margaret of Anjou (noted previously on this site).

Vale Shakespeare, the (not always) patriarchal Bard

Peacock walking through outdoor seating.
A fellow of the resident company of the New Fortune Theatre

Tribute of a Troubador

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.

Album cover with ink and watercolour sketch of Shakespeare.

Shakespeare Solos from the Guardian

As its contribution to the Shakespeare 400 commemorations, the Guardian has commissioned a wonderful series of videos from some of Britain’s greatest actors, delivering their favourite speeches from Shakespeare.

Shakespeare Solos is planned as an ongoing series, with the first six videos released on 1 February. Come back after you’ve watched them and tell us what you think are the best bits!

The Age on Shakespeare 400 in Australia

From John Bailey in the Age:

‘Back in England, where the Globe is open once again and where there are more Shakespeare 400 events than some scholars can handle, Anna Kamaralli holds out hope that similarly commemorative events will be picked up in Australia as the date of the Bard’s anniversary – also his birthday – draws nearer. She’s planning on setting up a simple website that can list any and all events that people in the community might mount in the lead up to April 23, and she says the anniversary is “a terrific opportunity not to memorialise an ending but to be astonished by the perpetual living of this work. It’s not about saying this is how we commemorate a dead person but about looking around and seeing all the ways this example of human expression is being used.”‘

The website mentioned is this one!

Read the full article here, and ignore the awful headline by some ignorant subeditor still learning the art of creating clickbait.

Thin white bearded man bare chested in gold body paint.
Mark Wilson in his reworking of Richard II Photo: Justin McManus