All the world’s a stage

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare and several of the major performing arts companies are noting the fact, with performances, workshops, talks and international tours.

All the world’s a stage


Queensland Theatre Company opens on the actual day—23 April—withMuch Ado About Nothing, one of Shakespeare’s comedies that combines robust hilarity with more serious meditations on honour, shame and politics.

As it happens, 23 April is also Shakespeare's birthday, who was 52 when he died.

Paul Kelly, in conjunction with Bell Shakespeare and Sydney Writers’ Festival, will launch an album,Seven Sonnets & A Song, at the State Library of NSW on 23 April.

Bell, of course, celebrates Shakespeare on a daily basis, this year withRomeo & Juliet, andOthello, not to mention A Midsummer Night's Dream in its schools program.

Queensland Ballet and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra both tackle Mendelssohn’sA Midsummer Nights’ Dream—the ballet playing for two weeks at the start of April and the orchestral work in September, conducted by Asher Fisch.A Midsummer Night's Dream is also inSydney Theatre Company'sline up later this year.

WASO will also perform the piece in Beijing, during its tour to China, on 10 October.

Malthouse Theatre is also travelling with its nod to Shakespeare,taking its award winning production of TheShadow King to London’s Barbican Centre.

This epic Indigenous remake of King Lear reimagines Shakespeare’s tragedy as a blood-soaked tale of two indigenous families divided by land, identity and legitimacy.Itpremiered in 2013 at the Melbourne Festival before touring arts festivals around the country.

Its season of 12 performances at the Barbican from June 22 to July 2 is expected to be seen by 10,000 people.

Belvoir presents Twelfth Night in October, featuringPeter Carroll as the killjoy Malvolio, and Nikki Shiels as Viola.

And in Perth, the Shakespeare 400 Perth Festival—a two-week festival of multi-modal workshops—runs from 31 October to 11 November.

The festival explores Shakespeare’s works across a range of disciplines, with links to the WA and Australian curriculum, and will feature all four West Australian major companies: WA Ballet, WA Opera, Black Swan State Theatre Company and WA Symphony Orchestra.


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