Category Archives: performance

Public Lecture: Shakespeare the Reader – An Illustrated Lecture with ANU and Bell Shakespeare

Tuesday 22 September 2023
6 pm – 8pm (AEST)
In Person and Online Lecture & Performance

Presented by ANU Centre for Early Modern Studies and Bell Shakespeare at National Library Australia (Canberra, ACT)

Please join Dr Kate Flaherty, senior Lecturer in English and Drama at ANU, and actors from Bell Shakespeare as they explore the link between the books that inspired Shakespeare and Shakespeare’s own work. This event is a mix of lecture and performance.

The event will be introduced by Dr Susannah Helman, National Library Curator of Rare Books and Music, who will speak about the items in the Library’s collection.

Entry is free to this event but bookings are essential.

The talk will be available to view live online via the Library’s Facebook and YouTube pages.
You do not need to book a ticket to watch the event online.

This event is presented in partnership with the Australian National University (ANU) Centre for Early Modern Studies and Bell Shakespeare.

About Dr Kate Flaherty
Kate Flaherty is a Senior Lecturer in English and Drama at ANU. Her current book project investigates how female performers have shaped political modernity. Her first book, Ours as We Play it: Australia Plays Shakespeare (2011), looks at Shakespeare in performance in Australia. Other articles and chapters explore the public interplay of Shakespeare’s drama with education, gender, imperialism and riot in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Among her many publications are articles for The Conversation and The Guardian. Kate was 2019 winner of the ANU Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Education and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

About the Bell Shakespeare actors

James Evans 
James Evans is Associate Director at Bell Shakespeare. He is a graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (Acting) and holds a Master of Arts (English) from the University of Sydney. For Bell Shakespeare James directed the national touring productions of Much Ado About Nothing and Julius Caesar, as well as MacbethRomeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Bell Shakespeare’s education program at Sydney Opera House and Arts Centre Melbourne. As an actor he has appeared in HamletRichard IIIRomeo and JulietMacbethHenry IV and Actors At Work. He is the host of Bell Shakespeare’s podcast Speak The Speech.  

James co-wrote and presented the acclaimed iPad App Starting Shakespeare (named Best New App by Apple in 17 countries) and co-directed the ABC Splash online series Shakespeare Unbound. He has been a visiting artist at the University of San Diego, as well as presenting a series of Shakespeare seminars in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Mumbai and Singapore. James’ work with Bell Shakespeare in juvenile detention centres is the subject of the feature film Kings of Baxter, winner of Best Australian Documentary at the 2017 Antenna Documentary Film Festival and the Supreme Jury Prize at the 2018 Melbourne Documentary Film Festival.

Emily Edwards 
Emily Edwards (she/her) is a graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (Acting) and is the Resident Artist in Education at Bell Shakespeare. Some of her stage credits include a National Tour with The Players (Bell Shakespeare), Feste in Twelfth Night (Dir Tom Wright), The Young Wife in Hello Again (Dir Tyran Parke), Abigail in The Crucible (Dir Terri Brabon, Theatre iNQ), Fiona Carter in The Removalists (Dir Elsie Edgerton-Till, Sydney Theatre Company), and Kapowi in Kapowi Go-Go (Dir Rachel Kerry, Kings Cross Theatre). Her screen credits include Alive with Curiosity with Tourism Queensland, and Home and Away. In addition to performing, Emily has been a teaching artist for over 10 years, having worked with Bell Shakespeare, The Australian Shakespeare Company, Theatre iNQ, Poetry in Action, and running an independent singing studio. 

About Dr Susannah Helman 
Dr Susannah Helman is the Rare Books and Music Curator at the National Library of Australia. She has worked at the National Library of Australia since 2009, until 2021 in the Exhibitions Section. She curated or co-curated exhibitions including Handwritten (2011), Mapping our World (2013–2014), The Sell (2016–2017), Cook and the Pacific (2018–2019) and On Stage (2022). She has a PhD in History from the University of Queensland.

ANZAMEMS 2019: Register now for special events

If you are joining us for ANZAMEMS 2019 at the University of Sydney next week, please take a few minutes to check the website for a range of special events the conference team has planned. These include:

Manuscript/Early Book Tour of the State Library of New South Wales

Tuesday 5 February, 2:30-4pm 

Join curators from the State Library of New South Wales for a tour of the library, which can trace its history back to 1826. The tour will provide an overview of the different reading rooms in the Library and some of the beautiful spaces and exhibitions in its historic Mitchell Wing. The tour will also include a private viewing of some Renaissance treasures from the Library’s rich and varied collections.

Free, but please register through this EventBrite link

Postgraduate Reception: Let’s Meet and Eat

Thursday 7 February, 6-7pm, Courtyard Restaurant and Bar at the University of Sydney

Per ANZAMEMS conference tradition, the current Postgraduate Representatives to the Executive Committee (Lisa Rolston and Hannah Skipworth) will hold a reception for ANZAMEMS postgraduates. The ambition behind this year’s event is to provide postgraduates with an opportunity to meet their peers from around Australia and New Zealand and establish connections that will carry them into future endeavours. Honours students and ECRs are most welcome to attend.

Free. Please register through this EventBrite link.

Treasures of the Fisher Library

The librarians of the Rare Books and Special Collections in the Fisher Library at the University of Sydney have generously arranged to show some treasures of the library to conference attendees at a number of scheduled times during the conference. The books include manuscripts and early printed books generally related to the conference theme. The numbers in these sessions will be capped so that visitors can examine the books and talk with the librarians about them.

A range of timeslots are available throughout the conference (5-8 February). Please see the ANZAMEMS 2019 conference website to check times and register.

Other special events include a screening of the film The Devil’s Country, a documentary that explores the intersection of the medieval demonic, the colonial experience of the Australian landscape, and the Indigenous experience of invasion and westward expansion through NSW.

There will also be a concert by The Marais Project. This group, founded in 2000 by viola da gambist, Jennifer Eriksson, focuses on the music of the baroque era with a particular emphasis on the works of Marin Marais, a performer and composer at the Court of Louis XIV.

Medieval Musical Tour: La Camera Delle Lacrime

The French medieval band La Camera delle Lacrime will be touring Australia for the first time from 22 July – 7 August 2018. La Camera Delle Lacrime is conducted by singer Bruno Bonhoure with stage director Khaï-dong Luong. Since 2005, innovation and the search of meaning have been two key strengths which made the unique identity of the ensemble, creating dramatic practices to highlight the musical medieval legacy and make it sound and be heard in contemporary time.

La Camera Delle Lacrime are invited by the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra to perform with them for two weeks across the country, with dates in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Famous actor David Wenham will also join us and narrate the show on stage. In 2017, we launched our fifth CD The Controversy of Karakorum. Highly successful in France, we have toured this show (alongside other programs) since then. The Controversy of Karakorum (1254) is based upon William of Rubrouck’s epic journey from France as an emissary of Louis IX or Saint Louis, to Karakorum, capital of the Mongolian Empire. Twenty years before Marco Polo, he travels to Asia, in order to convince the great Khan to join and be allied to Louis IX’s crusades. After 7 months on the road, this encounter with the great Khan and the three monotheistic religions represented in Karakorum is the origin of the night long controversy between Christians, Muslims and Buddhists, on the eve of Pentecost. Beyond the controversy, this peaceful agreement, as it was ordered to be so by the great Khan, leads to the conclusion that different paths lead to the very same God. La Camera delle Lacrime depicts this inter-religious night and journey with medieval music meeting other sacred and secular music from the Islamic and Buddhist traditions. 

The show will be performed by the usual team of La Camera delle Lacrime: viola d’art, kamanche, flutes, hurdy gurdy, pipes, oriental fiddle, medieval and suffi chants alongside the orchestra. Please find attached some links to our soundcloud and about  the program and La Camera delle Lacrime:

We are very much looking forward at meeting some medievalist fellows in Australia and would love to see you at one of our shows.

University of Sydney – Concert, Shakespeare, AEMA, St Brigit, Latin

University of Sydney – Concert, Shakespeare, AEMA, St Brigit, Latin

1. Concert:

Medieval Soirée Concert, Medieval and Early Modern Centre, University of Sydney,
Sweet polyphonic songs from fifteenth century Burgundy and political monophonic songs on the life of Geoffrey of Brittany (son of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine)
Performers: Margaret Arnold (Alto), Richard Excell (Vielle, rebec, gemshorn) and Carol Williams (Reader, harp, rebec, voice)
Woolley Common Room N480, Level 4, John Woolley Building A20, University of Sydney
Thursday, 15 February, 6pm–7pm, with optional dinner afterwards, probably at the Nag’s Head Hotel
For information about the content of the program, contact: Carol Williams 0425 702 700
To register attendance at the dinner, please email by 12 February

Margaret, Richard and Carol will also be presenting at the Sydney Medieval and Renaissance Group (SMRG) meeting on 14 February with a different program. More details shortly.

2. St Brigit’s Day/Imbolc Event

Australian School of Celtic Learning
Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney
Saturday 3 Feb, 9.30–5.00/6.30
See attached forms for Information and Registration for St Brigit’s Day and Information about the new Australian School of Celtic Learning
Cost $95/$65
Enquiries Pamela O’Neill:

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3. Conference:

Shakespeare at Play
Australian and New Zealand Shakespeare Association (ANZSA)
Arts West Building, Bldg No. 148, Professors Walk, University of Melbourne, Melbourne
8–10 February 2018
Cost: $320/$80/$60/$40
For Registration and more details:

4. Conference:

The Australian Early Medieval Association (AEMA) Conference
aema13–Invasion, Migration, Communication and Trade
Flinders University, Bedford Park, South Australia
22–22 July 2018
Abstracts of 250-300 words for 20-minute papers should be submitted via email to by 5 March 2018.
Further information:

5. Rusticatio Australiana 2018: Speak and Learn Latin

Septentrionale Americanum Latinitatis Vivae Institutum (SALVI) – The North American Institute of Living Latin Studies is holding its first program in the Antipodes, Rusticatio Australiana.
Speak and learn Latin in a spectacular, secluded rustic location in Australia.”
Kangaroo Valley Bush Retreat, Kangaroo Valley, approximately two hours drive from Sydney or Canberra, “surrounded by natural scenery and with ample creature comforts”.
16 July, noon – 20 July, 1:00 pm, 2018
Registration will open shortly.
Further information

Pop Up Globe in Melbourne

Pop-up Globe | Melbourne
21 Sep – 12 Nov 2017

Pop-up Globe, the world’s first full-scale temporary working replica of one of the greatest theatres in history, the second Globe, will soon pop-up right next door to the iconic Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

It will pop-up, be amazing and then disappear again.

Epic battles. Laugh-out-loud comedy. Dazzling special effects. Elaborate costumes. Spectacular dances. Sword fights in full suits of armour. This is Shakespeare like it’s 1614.

Don’t miss the immersive experience of Shakespeare performed in the space for which it was written.

More details:

Bad Hamlet: Moved Reading @ New Fortune Theatre, UWA

Bad Hamlet: a Moved Reading

Date: Wednesday May 24, 2017
Time: 4-6pm
Venue: New Fortune Theatre, UWA
Contact: Brid Phillips (

Directed by Kathryn Prince (University of Ottawa, CHE visiting researcher)

Projector Director Brid Phillips (UWA)

The so-called ‘bad’ quarto of Hamlet is the perfect script for a moved reading: half the length of the more familiar version, with a little less poetry and a lot more action.

Join us on Wednesday, May 24 from 4-6 for an unrehearsed performance at breakneck speed on UWA’s New Fortune stage. Everyone who wants to perform will have the chance to claim a role, (script provided) and groundlings (standing spectators) are welcome. There will be sitting space on the steps so bring a cushion for comfort!

No need to register: just turn up with friends and family (children welcome). In case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled.

Passion, Lament, Glory Concert @ St Paul’s Cathedral

Passion, Lament, Glory

Date: Friday 31 March and Saturday 1 April 2017
Time: 7.30PM
Venue: St Paul’s Cathedral, Cnr of Swanston Street and Flinders Street, Melbourne
Cost: $30 Full / $15 Concession
Booking: Eventbrite online:

Directed by Jane Davidson, this performance presents a highly original enactment of the Passion of Christ that includes spectacular aerial artistry. Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater serves as the musical centrepiece, alongside choruses from Handel’s Messiah and other beloved works. Internationally acclaimed conductor Erin Helyard will lead a top baroque ensemble, and Stephen Grant will direct over 100 voices from the Vocal Studies Department at The University of Melbourne.

Shakespeare in the Great Court @ University of Queensland

Shakespeare in the Great Court

Date: 21 October 2016
Time: 4.00pm – 5.00pm
Venue: Great Court, The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus
Cost: Free

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in collaboration with the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble present Shakespeare in the Great Court.

Bring your camping chairs and picnic rugs and join us for some Music and Madness as we take a look at some of William Shakespeare’s memorable theatrical moments in a selection of scenes, sonnets and songs performed by the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble, resident theatre company of UQ’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

This event is free and open to everyone so please spread the word.

Limited seating will be available and paid parking is available on site, for details click here.

Refreshments are available to purchase from the many cafes and bars on campus either before or after the performance.

This event is part of Delighted Spirit – the University’s tribute to the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.

Please note: alcohol is not permitted at this event.

Mercy Panel & Performance: An Exploration of Justice and the Law VS Compassion @ Sydney Opera House

Mercy Panel & Performance: An Exploration of Justice and the Law VS Compassion, inspired by Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice

Date: 4 September, 2016
Time: 5:30pm
Cost: Tickets from $39-$49:
Venue: Sydney Opera House (Venue 1)

Speakers: Deng Adut, A.C. Grayling, Germaine Greer & Michael Kirby
Cast: John Bell (Duke), Brian Lipson (Shylock), Andrea Demetriades (Portia), James Evans (Antonio) & Damien Strouthos (Bassanio)
Director: Peter Evans

“The quality of mercy is not strained: It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven. Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed: It blessed him that gives, and him that takes.” – Portia, The Merchant of Venice

Have we lost the quality of mercy? If we aim only for what is fair, or for justice, do we narrow the scope for something better? Is there still room for mercy in a secular state?

Sydney Opera House and Bell Shakespeare collaborate to bring the courtroom session from The Merchant of Venice to life and focus on contemporary dilemmas of mercy, justice and the law.

South Sudanese child soldier-turned-Blacktown lawyer, Deng Adut moved hearts with his 2016 Australia Day address. But 33-year-old Adut first won national attention late last year, when a short video about his life went viral. The clip, which has attracted more than 2 million views to date, was produced by Adut’s alma mater, Western Sydney University. Deng, who was conscripted at six years old, had never been to school. He came to Australia as a refugee aged 14, taught himself to read, write and speak English, and won a scholarship to study law in 2005. He now has his own private law practice in Western Sydney and spends much of his free time working with disenfranchised youth and refugees. Deng’s book Songs of a War Boy written with Ben Mckelvey will be published by Hachette Australia in November 2016.

A.C. Grayling is the Master of the New College of the Humanities, London, and its Professor of Philosophy, and the author of over thirty books of philosophy, biography, history of ideas, and essays. He is a Vice President of the British Humanist Association, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

As an academic Germaine Greer has spent her whole working life teaching Shakespeare, in Australia, in Britain and in the US. In 1986 OUP published her book on Shakespeare in the Past Masters series, and it has been in print ever since. An Australian-born writer, Greer is regarded as one of the major voices of the second-wave feminist movement in the latter half of the 20th century. Greer’s ideas have created controversy ever since her first book, The Female Eunuch (1970), became an international best-seller and made her a household name. Her work since then has focused on literature, feminism and the environment.

When he retired from the High Court of Australia on 2 February 2009, Michael Kirby was Australia’s longest serving judge. In addition to his judicial duties, Michael Kirby has service as a member of the World Health Organisation’s Global Commission on AIDS (1988-92); as President of the International Commission of Jurists, Geneva (1995-8); as UN Special Representative for Human Rights in Cambodia (1993-6); as a member of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee (1995-2005); as a member of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Judicial Reference Group (2007- 9) and as a member of the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights (2004-).

John Bell is Founding Artistic Director of Bell Shakespeare, and one of Australia’s most acclaimed theatre personalities. In 2003 the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, presented John with the Cultural Leader of the Year Award and in 2009 he received the JC Williamson Award for his life’s work in the live performance industry. He has been named an Australian Living Treasure.

Andrea Demetriades has worked consistently in Film, TV and Theatre since graduating from NIDA in 2006. She has worked in theatre across the country including Pygmalion for the Sydney Theatre Company, Oedipus Rex and The Book of Everything for Belvior and multiple Bell Shakespeare Co. productions including Twelfth Night and Romeo & Juliet.

James Evans is Associate Director at Bell Shakespeare. He is a NIDA (Acting) graduate and holds an MA (English) from the University of Sydney. He has worked extensively as an actor, director and dramaturg. James is Director of The Players, Bell Shakespeare’s touring ensemble, and has directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2016), Romeo And Juliet (2015), and Macbeth (2014) each playing to over 16,000 students in Sydney and Melbourne. James has co-written and presented acclaimed iPad App Starting Shakespeare (named Best New App by Apple in 17 countries), co-directed the ABC online series Shakespeare Unbound, and produced Shakespeare related content for Google Australia.

Brian Lipson is an actor, director, designer, writer and teacher who has been working in theatre for more than 40 years. He has toured extensively throughout Australia and Internationally performing on stage, tv and film. He has also directed and devised many shows including his solo work A Large Attendance in the Antechamber which received wide acclaim at the Edinburgh, Sydney and Adelaide festivals and toured the United States. He is a proud member of Actor’s Equity and has been nominated for seven Green Room Awards, winning three. He recently completed an Australia Council Fellowship.

Damien Strouthos graduated WAAPA in 2012 and since has worked extensively as an actor. In 2014, Damien toured with the Bell Shakespeare’ Company’s Henry V in the role of Pistol, directed by Damien Ryan. Damien is also a founding member of the Sport for Jove Theatre Company

Jacob Warner graduated from Actors’ Centre Australia in 2014. He has been in theatre productions including Romeo and Juliet for Bell Shakespeare; On the Shore of the Wide World for Griffin Independent, and Daylight Saving for Darlinghurst Theatre. He’s appeared in the films Hacksaw Ridge, Spice Sisters, Noah and The Fragments as well as the television shows Dr Feelgood and Borders.

Shakespeare at the Opera House Performance

Shakespeare at the Opera House

Date: Thursday 27 October, 2016
Time: 1:00pm
Venue: Nickson Room (434), Zelman Cowan Building (51), The University of Queensland, St Lucia
RSVP: Free event, no RSVP required

The works of William Shakespeare have inspired numerous operas on countless stages around the world. In the nineteenth century, his plays prompted some of the greatest achievements of such composers as Giuseppe Verdi, Otto Nicolai, and Ambroise Thomas. This concert presents excerpts from some of the nineteenth century’s best-loved Shakespearean operas, including Thomas’s Hamlet (1868), Verdi’s Macbeth (1847), Nicolai’s Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (The Merry Wives of Windsor) (1848), and Charles-François Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette (1867). Featuring some of Brisbane’s finest upcoming opera performers, the concert will include a range of vocal pieces, from duets and trios to large chorus ensemble works. The works are partially staged with piano accompaniment, and audience members will receive a detailed program discussing the works performed.

Presented by the UQ School of Music and the UQ Node of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Europe 1100-1800).