|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 May 25th at St. Francis Pastoral Centre, cnr. Lonsdale and Elizabeth Streets, Melbourne, starting at 2.00 pm.
Our next reading, on Saturday June 8th, will be Sapho and Phao by John Lyly. This is an Associated Reading, being one of the Lyly plays identified as influencing Shakespeare's writing. We are assured by director, Susana Grest, that it will be a lot of fun.
The Sonnet Competition has now closed and the many entries are at present being considered by our judges. The winners will be announced shortly.
Another round of cinema screenings of some of The Globe performances will start in June. They will be shown at Palace Cinemas - Balwyn, Brighton Bay, Como and Kino.
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.