Category Archives: performances

Taymor’s Dream screening in Melbourne

27 July, Melbourne.

Julie Taymor is acknowledged as one of the most thrilling directors of Shakespeare in the world today. Her New York production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was a masterpiece of word, music and image building into something beyond an ordinary piece of theatre.

Man in donkey head costume and small child in white makeup.
A still from the production

Supported by the University of Melbourne’s Shakespeare 400 initiative, and by the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Australian audiences will finally have the chance to immerse themselves in Taymor’s exquisite multi-media, hallucinatory stage world. “Taymor’s Dream was released on film at the Toronto International Film Festival in late 2014 and has had limited release primarily in the UK and North America. This screening for the University of Melbourne community is the Australian premiere.”

Hopefully this will be an inspiration to other cities.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016 from 7:00pm to 9:30pm
Federation Hall – 7-17 Grant Street #5, Southbank, VIC 3006

Tickets are free, but you can book ahead: Full details here.

This year’s Shakespeare at NIDA

7 – 15 June, Sydney.

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.

Full details and bookings here for Twelfth Night and here for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Young woman's bare back with pink and leafy shadows.

Call for actors: Margaret of Anjou in Sydney

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.

Long sword.

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:

  • Location – Notre Dame Theatre, Broadway Campus, Chippendale
  • Times available – Thursdays 5 & 12 May, 4.30 – 7.30pm, other times by arrangement
  • Bring – a monologue in verse or a sonnet
  • Please write to Anna at to hear more, or to arrange a time.
Logo with P in shape of a box.
Supported by The Puzzle Theatre Company

Pilgrimage – a concert

14 & 15 May, Blackheath.

For two performances, Gerald Finzi’s song cycle setting ballads from Shakespeare’s plays will be incorporated with other lyrical vocal works from the past century.

“In three of the most beautiful song cycles of the early 20th century, Pilgrimage will take you from the wild isolation of medieval Irish monks, through the red beating heart of Spain and, on the 400th anniversary of his death, through the varied minds of Shakespeare, with a moment to stop and gaze at the moon in Debussy’s Clair de Lune.”


  • Barber’s Hermit Songs
  • De Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares
  • Finzi’s Let Us Garlands Bring

Sung by Susannah Lawergren (Soprano), Hannah Fraser (Mezzo-Soprano) and Andrew O’Connor (Bass-Baritone) with pianist Ben Burton and Debussy’s Clair de Lune.

May 14th, 3pm at Blackheath Uniting Church

May 15th, 3pm at the Flute Tree, Leichhardt

Full details here.

Line drawing of faces. Text: Pilgrimage.

Measure for Measure at UNSW

26-30 April, Sydney.

The students of NUTS (NSW University Theatrical Society) are staging a production of Measure for Measure, running one week only.

Here is a helpful video primer expertly crafted by the artists of the company:

This play speaks to many of our most pressing moral issues. Would you betray your principles to save someone you love? What do we do when the man with the power to save or condemn us is himself corrupt? And who will believe a woman who accuses a powerful man of sexual abuse?

Directed by Tess Sterland. 7pm Tuesday to Saturday, Studio One, on campus at UNSW, Kensington.

Full details here.

Silhouette drawing of nun with someone's hand over her moth and grasping her arm.

Help the Pop-Up Globe stay up

Shakespeare performance in Auckland has been given an amazing boost with the appearance of the Pop-Up Globe.

Man and woman on stage, interior of pop-up Globe, with audience.
Performance of Hamlet by the Lord Lackbeards

Running performances from a whole range of companies since February, the theatre’s construction is based on years of research, from historians and theatre scholars including Associate Professor at Sydney University, Tim Fitzpatrick.

It is a wonderful tribute to what can be achieved with a combination of imagination, craft and passion.

Please go to the petition Keep the Pop-Up Globe and sign to help keep the Globe in operation.

Exterior of the Pop-Up Globe.

Coriolanus storms Melbourne

27 April – 8 May, Melbourne.

Heartstrings Theatre Company will perform an all-female Coriolanus, on the model of Phillida Lloyd’s Donmar Warehouse production of Henry V last year.

Shakespeare’s dynamic tale of Coriolanus takes us into a world where the Volscian Army marches on Rome, only for the warrior Coriolanus to drive them back. As the dust settles, though, she finds herself pressured into the snake pit that is political office. With famine threatening and jealous tribunes plotting against her, Coriolanus discovers that the will of people cannot be so easily beaten back with swords…

Company member and co-founder Jo Booth describes why projects like this are so vital:

“Shakespeare is open to interpretation, his work is never presented exactly as it was done in the 17th century. By casting women we aim to bring a new perspective to his words, and show women in a multidimensional light. Coriolanus is one of Shakespeare’s most masculine plays, and we’re exploring how women take on these qualities; rage, vulnerability, ferocity, and present them to a 2016 audience”

Directed by Grant Watson, this new telling of one of Shakespeare’s last tragedies takes a hyper-masculine world full of betrayal and deceit, and flips it on its head in a compelling reimagining.

At Metanoia Theatre, at the Mechanics’ Institute, Brunswick.

Full details here.

Group of 10 white women walking towards camera looking serious.
Heartstrings Company

Shrews Rule!

5-28 May, Sydney.

The Taming of the Shrew by Sport for Jove

Australia’s most consistently fresh and vigorous producers of Shakespeare are remounting their 2011 production of The Taming of the Shrew, directed by company founder Damien Ryan.

Although this is one of Shakespeare’s earlier and arguably less sophisticated comedies, its centring on a question that has obsessed our society for centuries: why the relationship between men and women should be assumed to be a struggle for dominance. The play itself is not solvable, nor offering a solution, but it does make us consider – are we at our best or our worst when we are forced to fight for our identity? Its charismatic lead roles and effervescent comedy mean we keep being tempted to return to the puzzle.

I’ll let the company itself explain the concept:

“Sport for Jove’s world-class production won unanimous critical acclaim in its 2011/12 outdoor Summer Festival Season, where it was nominated for 5 Sydney Theatre Awards including Best Independent Production, Actor, Actress, Director and Design. It also rained. Rained a lot… So we are removing the weather as a factor and remounting this hugely successful production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew on the great Hollywood soundstages of the silent film era.

Shakespeare’s love stories challenge us very deeply. They tend to be models of disharmony and madness in which trust, patience and finally, hope, are only reached through chaos and pain. They are as troubling as they are funny, and as beautiful as they are disturbing. The Taming of the Shrew captures that paradox perfectly, among the most challenging, confronting and exuberant plays ever written.”

Woman with face smudged with dirt, wearing vintage aviator goggles.
May 5th – 7th at the Riverside Theatre Parramatta

May 19th – 28th at the Seymour Centre