Bell Shakespeare

Titus Andronicus 

Bell Shakespeare
by
02 September 2019

What can you do with Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, a play full of murder, mutilation, and rape, culminating in a mother eating a pie filled with her sons’ ground-up body parts? For centuries it was dismissed as the early aberration of a genius, a sop to the bloodthirst of Elizabethan audiences ...

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There is much conjecture around the concept of Shakespeare’s ‘problem plays’; critics disagree not only on the strict meaning of the term – F.S. Boas saw them as works that used a protagonist’s dramatic situation to illustrate a social problem, while Ernest Schanzer insists they turn on an ethical dilemma ...

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At first glance, Molière’s The Miser, or L’Avare in the original French as first performed in 1668, contains the seeds of drama. Harpagon, an avaricious father, unceasingly heartless towards his grown son and daughter, and paranoid they will steal his beloved fortune, sounds like the stuff of tragedy ...

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Julius Caesar, first performed in 1599, dates from the period when Shakespeare was leading up to Hamlet, and its central figure Brutus, the conscientious assassin, is a bit of a rough draft for the introspective side of the Prince of Denmark, whereas Richard II, four years earlier ...

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Antony and Cleopatra (first performed circa 1607) is one of Shakespeare’s most poetic plays, full of imagery of exotic Egypt with its crocodiles and serpents, its River Nile and, of course, Enobarbus’s extravagant speech describing Antony’s first sighting of its queen: ‘The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne/ Burned on ...

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The Merchant of Venice is a troublesome play. I have seen productions that have played up the comic aspects to an absurd and irritating degree while confining Shylock to the stereotype that bears his name. Some interpretations exploit the play as anti-Semitic propaganda ...

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The stage is open – a glossy art deco drawing room with plush velvet chairs and a chaise longue, cocktail glasses, and champagne, ready for a party. An engaging young man, dressed formally in a three-piece suit steps onstage and begins the famous speech: ‘Now is the winter of our discontent ...

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Whatever else Peter Evans's production of Othello has going for it, and it has indeed much, the speaking of Shakespeare's verse is outstanding. It is never declamatory, in the way that some famous actors of earlier decades dealt with it. The verse emerges entirely intact, but is always made to ...

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Everything, it seems, depends on Juliet: for nothing can be ill, if she be well cast. And if she not be well cast? The question is an idle one, because in Kelly Paterniti we have an excellent Juliet. She is vibrant and original. Whatever faults this new Bell Shakespeare production may have, in her ...

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Twenty-five years ago, John Bell undertook to create an Australian theatre company devoted to Shakespeare, a travelling repertory company that would give wide access to this wonderful legacy of our language. It harked back to a time when Shakespeare mattered so much to Australians that an actor could make a name performing Shakespear ...

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