|The Melbourne Shakespeare Society is one of the oldest literary societies in Australia, having been in continuous existence since 1884. It has an active program which includes monthly meetings, and monthly readings of Shakespeare's plays and associated works.|
|General Meetings are usually held
on the fourth Saturday of each month (excluding January). They feature
an invited main speaker, often from the arts or academia, or sometimes
a Society member speaks on one of their special interests. The talks
may be illustrated by short prepared readings by members. As well,
meetings may include musical items, book reports, sonnet readings and
reports of Shakespearean related events.
The venue is the St Francis Pastoral Centre, at the corner of Elizabeth and Lonsdale Streets, Melbourne, in the Monastery Hall or other meeting rooms at the Centre.
|Play Readings - The Society's Reading
Group performs Readings of the complete plays of William Shakespeare,
in basic chronological order, on the second Saturday of each month
(except January). In 2012 the group begins a fourth cycle of reading of the
complete Canon, over six years.
The rehearsed readings are performed by Society members in the Ballroom of the English Speaking Union at 146 Toorak Road West, South Yarra (between Punt and St Kilda Roads). Public transport access is via the Toorak Road tram or Punt Road bus.
Rehearsals for Readings are held (first Saturday of the month) in the Collingwood Library, 11 Stanton Street, next to the Collingwood Station carpark. Melway 2C H10 or 44 D5. Public transport access - train to Collingwood station, Hurstbridge or Epping line; Hoddle Street bus.
|Associated Readings of works which illuminate the Shakespearean Canon are interspersed with the Shakespeare plays throughout the year. These include Shakespeare's poems (eg The Rape of Lucrece), his contemporaries (eg The Massacre at Paris by Christopher Marlowe), classical drama (eg Menaechmi by Plautus), and modern plays for which Shakespeare is an essential reference point (eg Macbett by Eugene Ionesco).|
|The Society publishes a Newsletter, The Melbourne Shakespearean,with articles, poetry, reviews and reports of Shakespearean interest, which is available free to members and for sale to others.|
|There are very modest attendance fees at meetings and readings, and guests and new members are always welcome. For further information, contact the President or any others listed in the Contacts.|
|Items of Note
The next meeting will be held on October 26th at St. Francis Pastoral Centre, cnr. Lonsdale and Elizabeth Streets, Melbourne, starting at 2.00 pm. This meeting will concentrate on Romeo and Juliet, with a panel of speakers leading the discussion. There was a previous glitch in our programming when the talk by Patricia Moynihan on Shakespeare: speaking the Truth to power was inadvertently slotted into the October meeting, intstead of November. Apologies to anyone inconvenienced by this.
Our next reading, on Saturday November 9th, will be Romeo and Juliet to be directed by Curtis Farrell.
It is hoped that the results of the Sonnet Competition will be announced sometime in October.
Tempest at the Drop-in Centre is a documentary film about a production of The Tempest in 2011 which featured a cast including people from Uniting Care's St Kilda Drop-in Centre playing alongside actors. It is narrated by Eric Bana and will be shown at the Astor Theatre at 8.00pm on October 8th. All proceeds will go to the Drop-In Centre.
Another version of The Tempest is being staged by Union House Theatre, at the University of Melbourne, by a combined team of professional and student artists. There are still some performances left to catch up on this production - October 16-19 at 7.30pm and a matinee on Friday October 18 at 11.00am.
At Monash University the Monash Shakespeare Company will be performing Twelfth Night from October 24th to November 2nd. It is to be directed by Monash students Loughlin Turpin and Jessica McLaughlin Cafferty.
There are to be some cinema screenings of National Theatre Live productions in the coming months. Most will be at the Nova in Carlton, with a few at the Brighton Bay and the Sun Theatre Yarraville.
As part of the Melbourne Festival an Indigenous take on King Lear called The Shadow King will be playing at the Malthouse from October 15-27.
If you are planning a trip to Europe, you may want to include one of these tours in your itinerary.
"Enjoy a fascinating Shakespeare study tour in the company of a Renaissance literature scholar. See the key sites of London and Stratford-upon-Avon, including the GlobeTheatre and Shakespeare's birthplace, and witness stage performances of Shakespeare. One-week and weekend tours available. Ideal for students and teachers of all nationalities."
Run by Dr Philip Major, an academic teaching at Birkbeck, they cost around £950 (AUD $1430) per head for 7 nights in central London, including all transfers, entrance fees and full board.
We have no personal knowledge of these tours, but those wanting more details can contact: Dr Philip Major at firstname.lastname@example.org
For those who would like a printable copy of the year's programme or the current brochure, it can be opened from the following
We have now added our Rules of Association for the convenience of those members who want access to them.
You will also find information about coming events in the theatre world in Melbourne if you go to Whitehat, the Melbourne happenings page (he also does a nice line in weekly newsletters!)
Another interesting site to visit is www.bookandvolume.com.au. This is a 'virtual' bookshop based in country Victoria, which in addition to its wide range of books has a passion for things Shakespearean. There can be found information of events of all kinds to do with Shakespeare, his contemporaries and times.