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

Shakespeare and SUDS

Edward Furst has put together the whole story of the University of Sydney’s history of staging Shakespeare. Also offering a brief history of the Sydney University Dramatic Society (SUDS), photos and all, it’s well worth the read. But what is this about abandoning a production of Macbeth due to a shortage of male actors? I’m sure they must have had women who would have stepped into the breeches!

Shakespeare’s Timeless Legacy at Sydney University

Poster showing bloodied female hands. Text: LADY "call me what you will"
SUDS has staged both original texts, and adaptations and reworkings like this one

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.

Varieties of Shakespeare: Podcasts

Papers presented at the University of Sydney, hosted by the EMLAC (Early Modern Literature and Culture) research group, on Wednesday 27 April 2016.

Line drawing of Shakespeare. Text: University of Sydney, Shakespeare 400

In an informal afternoon, presenters gave 10-15 minute pieces covering topics that show the variety of approaches to Shakespeare studies, historic, literary, educational, dramaturgical and where all these interests meet.

Huw Griffiths: “1616 and All That”

On the other great literary artist we should be commemorating, and how his work interacted with Shakespeare’s.

Kathy French: “Happy Shakespeare”

On what some of Shakespeare’s heroines do to earn their happiness.

Ursula Potter: “Shakespeare’s Daughters”

On fathers with growing daughters, and the unique perspective on parenting that appears in Shakespeare’s plays.

Kathryn Parker: “Shakespeare in Song”

How did the many ballads that appear in Shakespeare’s plays fit in with the contemporary culture of popular song?

Penny Gay: “Shakespeare in a Tent”

On what has distinguished the most exciting and vibrant periods of Shakespeare performance in Australia.

Anna Kamaralli: “Margaret of Anjou: a New Play by Shakespeare”

On performances of the script recently crafted by Liz Schafer and Philippa Kelly designed to centre the “Tiger’s heart wrapped in a woman’s hide” in her own story.

Liam Semler and Claire Hansen: “Shakespeare Reloaded: Shakeserendipity”.

Liam and Claire’s piece differs a little from the others in that they were presenting an online resource. For this reason the podcast is best listened to in conjunction with looking at their Shakespeare Reloaded website and its Shakeserendipity game.

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.