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  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 began 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. NB: The May, June and November readings will be at Kathleen Syme Library, Faraday Street, Carlton, between Swanston and Lygon Streets (accessed by any Swanston Street tram or Johnston Street bus).
Rehearsals for Readings are held (first Saturday of the month) at various locations.
  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.
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  Items of Note

The next meeting will be on Saturday, May 28th , starting at 2.00 pm.
We are very fortunate to have Dr Vicente Perez de Leon (from Melbourne University) to be our guest speaker. He will present a session on the significance of Cervantes and explore the story of Cardenio in Don Quixote that became the subject for a lost play, recorded as being by Shakespeare and Fletcher. Vicente will show a short DVD of play extracts, use powerpoint visuals and will welcome responses from the audience. This promises to be a fascinating insight into the connection between Cardenio (lost) and the strange performance history of the next play we read, Theobald's Double Falsehood.
The meeting will be held at the St Francis Monastery Hall, cnr. Lonsdale and Elizabeth Streets, Melbourne.
Visitors, as always, very welcome. Cost $7, includes refreshments.

Our next Reading will be on Saturday June 11th, commencing at 1.00 pm.
It is to be the problematic Double Falsehood to be directed by Peter Groves. This play was published in 1728 by Lewis Theobald, who claimed to have adapted the piece from three original Shakespeare manuscripts which were subsequently lost in a library fire. There are some who claim that this was originally the 'lost' play Cardenio, written by Shakespeare and Fletcher.
Visitors very welcome. Cost $7, includes refreshments.
Note: There has been a change from the advertised venue. We will be back to our usual haunt - the English Speaking Union, 146 Toorak Road West, South Yarra.
And note also - King Lear has been postponed until August.

BEFORE THE COMING OF MACBETH! The Melbourne Company of Players is holding a Macbeth Fundraiser on Sunday 22 May at 7.00 pm.
The venue is Latvian House, 3 Dickens Stree, ELWOOD.
It will feature cast members, Shakespeare monologues, Trivia quiz, Cheese and Wine!
Bookings: Judite Smits 0427 108 150

Stars hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires.
To mark the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare, The Melbourne Company of Players, in association with our Society, is staging Macbeth.
The initiative for the production came from two of our members, Judite Smits and Curtis Farrell who are acting as producers. The director is Matthew O'Sullivan, and Sue Tweg is the text advisor.
Macbeth will be staged at the Metanoia Theatre, Mechanics Institute, Brunswick June 7-25.
You can visit the website for more information: themelbournecompanyofplayers.com.au
The site has a Facebook link, so you can like us and help spread the word.

Rufus Wainwright's studio album Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets is to be released on April 22.
Adaptations of Sonnets 10, 20, 23, 29, 40, 43, 66, 87 and 129 over 16 tracks are rendered by a host of guest actors, singers and musicians.
Seven Sonnets & A Song: Lyrics by Shakespeare - and, in one number, Sir Philip Sidney - feature on the new vinyl mini-album of the Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly. Downloads will be available from midnight GMT as April 22 turns to April 23.

Rules of Association are available for the convenience of those members who want access to them.

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  Updated May 23th, 2016