Category Archives: performances

Looking forward

This website was created because of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Events to mark the date were taking place all around the world, and so it felt important that Australia have some place to go where people could find out what was happening near them or get ideas for things to do. I also wanted it to survive as a record of what happened throughout this year, in case anyone in the future is curious.

Of course, Shakespeare never stops, so despite the anniversary year having concluded there is lots more going on, looking ahead. Productions of Shakespeare already scheduled for the forthcoming year include…

Sport for Jove doing Julius Caesar and the much less often performed Antony and Cleopatra, in rep.

Genesian Theatre presenting Much Ado About Nothing.

NUTS (the University of NSW Theatrical Society) opening their season with The Tempest in March.

Bard on the Beach programming Romeo and Juliet and The Merry Wives of Windsor in rep.

Melbourne Theatre Company including a production of Macbeth in their subscription season.

MOST excitingly, The Puzzle Collective’s SuperHal!: the superhero origin story of Henry V swooping in in March (with a bonus of the fundraiser Shakespeare Cosplay Cabaret on 28 January at the Red Rattler).

And there are bound to be many more. Artists will always continue to perform Shakespeare, because the work will continue to give us the expression we need of our most intense experiences of being human.

Thank you to everyone who has sent me contributions to this site over the course of the year. The site will no longer be updated, but will remain up so the links and resources stay active, and I hope also to act as an archive of what went on throughout this year in Australasia. Our Facebook page will stay available whenever anyone wants to share comments or events.

The breadth and variety of shows and events this past year, to which our nearly 100 posts stand testament, are proof of the passion and ingenuity of the many people in Australia and New Zealand who use Shakespeare’s work as a conduit for the things we feel driven to say. It has been a pleasure and privilege to watch.

Young white man and young black woman lie on grass holding a skull between them.

SuperHal will save us all

28 January Shakespeare Cosplay Cabaret

7 – 18 March SuperHal – the superhero origin story of Shakespeare’s Henry V

From The Puzzle Collective, who brought us The Tempest: Steampunked comes a spectacular new adventure. Shakespeare’s two Henry IV plays along with Henry V tell the story of a prince learning to understand and use his power. But what if that included superpowers? These favourites of the Shakespeare canon are being reimagined in a world where the many beloved and colourful characters involved are gifted with some astonishing special abilities. The journey of the hero to accept responsibility and wield power for the greater good is a classic of the comic book world – but Shakespeare got there first!

There are two events to mark in your diary:

The Shakespearean Superhero Cosplay Cabaret at the Red Rattler in Marrickville, 28 January…

photo of broadsword

…and SUPERHAL itself, at the NIDA theatre in Kensington for a two-week run in March.

Check back here for more information, as we get closer to the fun.

Logo of man in lion superhero costume. Text: Shakespeare Superhero Cosplay

Henry IV + Henry V + Superpowers

New Work from Shakespeare Republic

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.

You can find their site here.

Check out their projects, and sling them some support if you can.

Text showing Shakespeare Republic logo surrounded by film festival awards listings.

Cheek by Jowl at Sydney Festival

7 – 11 January, Sydney

Measure for Measure

One of the joys of the Sydney Festival is being visited by some of the world’s most exciting interpreters of the classics of theatre. Cheek by Jowl have been turning out superb reimaginings of Shakespeare for many years now, both in Britain and in association with Russian artists. This year they are bringing Measure for Measure to Sydney, directed by Declan Donnellan and performed by the Pushkin Theatre of Moscow.

Measure for Measure is a tragicomedy that shows us the darker side of social politics, corruption and sexual trade, but it also contains one of Shakespeare’s most powerful messages of hope and the possibility of mercy.

Performed in Russian with English surtitles.

On at the Roslyn Packer Theatre, Walsh Bay, for a run of less than a week.

Full details here.

Bare chested man plays cello while actors dance behind him.

Next year’s Bard on the Beach

Young, white man and woman lie with their heads together.
Romeo and Juliet

From 20 January 2017, venues around Sydney.

Bard on the Beach always do two plays in repertory, usually a comedy and a tragedy. The summer of 2017 will see Romeo and Juliet and the much more rarely performed Merry Wives of Windsor grace the Balmoral foreshores. The company has expanded its performance sites over the last few years, so now you can see them both north and south of the harbour.

There is nothing more Sydney that an outdoor, summer Shakespeare.

Full details here.

Sport for Jove New Summer Shakespeare Season

From 17 December, Bella Vista Farm and Leura Everglades.

Hearing what Sport for Jove will be doing next is always something to look forward to. This year’s outdoor summer season looks as incisive and vigorous as ever, with a focus on the Roman plays.

Julius Caesar

A play about self-serving politicians manipulating the mob into destroying their democracy themselves – what could be more topical?

This play is very much an ensemble piece, and boasts a cast of great depth, but Suzanne Pereira will carry the title role.

Antony and Cleopatra

One of the great tragedies, surprisingly rarely performed in Australia. Love and loss on the scale of empires.

Camilla Ah Kin and Christian Stollery will be playing the couple who find a kingdom well lost.

Full details here.

Opening this weekend.

Two women seated outdoors, in red and black.
Camilla Ah Kin plays Cleopatra and Suzanne Pereira is Julius Caesar Photo by James Brickwood

Double Bill from Montague Basement

29 November – 10 December, Erskineville

Text in watercolour: Montague Basement



The Taming of the Shrew

An ambitious double bill staged up close and personal in the compact space of the PACT Centre for Emerging Artists, Erskineville.

“A lean, contemporary and viciously polemical Shrew up aside an abstract, mercurial and surreal Macbeth; this thrilling double bill is Shakespeare for those who want something a bit different.”

Full details and tickets here.

Smudged chalk sketch of man and woman, head and shoulders, screaming.

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

Shakespeare Day at Notre Dame

9 November, Sydney

The University of Notre Dame, Sydney is hosting a full day of presentations showcasing their engagement with this anniversary year. Two special parts of that are open to the public, and all who are interested are warmly invited to attend.

There will be a 1pm keynote address by Professor Chris Wortham on Shakespeare’s Maps, and students will be performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Notre Dame Theatre at 4.30pm, which will be followed by a reception.

The campus is on the corner of Abercrombie Street and Broadway in Chippendale and is very easy to find. There is no charge, and no need to book.

You can read more about the ideas behind the day and, what went on, here.

Event details in PDF form, as listed above, also biog and picture of Prof. Wortham.
Programme of events for the day