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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 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

WE HAVE MOVED!
Our new address is melbourneshakespearesociety.org.au
If you have reached us through our old address at Vicnet, please take note - this redirection will be in effect only until the end of May.
Our email address remains unchanged at shakespearemelbourne@yahoo.com.au for the present time.

Our next Reading on April 12th is A Midsummer Night's Dream to be directed by Barbara Sharpe.
The starting time is 1.00 pm. at the English Speaking Union, 146 Toorak Road West, South Yarra.
Visitors very welcome. Cost $5, includes refreshments.

The next meeting will be held on April 26th (celebrating the Bard's 450th birthday!) at St. Francis Pastoral Centre, cnr. Lonsdale and Elizabeth Streets, Melbourne, starting at 2.00 pm.
Christian Griffiths (Monash) will be speaking on Songs in Shakespeare.
Visitors always welcome. Cost $5, includes refreshments. Enquiries ring Sue Tweg on 9528 5274.

OZACT is to contine its Summer production of Hamlet through Autumn between March 29th to April 27th.
Details:
March 29 & 30 and April 5 & 6 at 3.00 pm - Williamstown Botanic Gardens
April 18, 19 & 20 at 4.00 pm - in the surrounds of Brambuk, The National Park & Cultural Centre, Halls Gap in the Grampians.
'Please note: Due to the recent fires in the Grampians, we will be performing in the lovely bushland surrounds of Brambuk the National Park and Cultural Centre this year. It is a beautiful location which is sure to delight all. Please come along and show your Grampians support.'
April 26 & 27 at 3.00 pm - Castlemaine Botanic Gardens
For bookings and information visit their website or call OZACT 0419 330 516.
As always, attend equipped with rugs, cushions, refreshments and outdoor, weather related gear.
Those booking before March 14th will receive a 10% discount!

The annual Shakespeare on the River Festival held at Stratford in Gippsland will be held April 23 - May 10 2014 , with an appetiser on April 12.
'The Festival has grown to include over twenty different events being performed over a two-and-a-half week period.'
Some of the highlights are:
- an outdoor showing of the 1953 movie 'Kiss Me Kate' on Saturday, April 12
- Children's Play Julius Caesar on May 7, 8, 9
- Community Play Much Ado About Nothing on May 2, 3 ,9, 10
- Groundwork Youth Theatre As You Like It on May 1, 2, 4
- Hartwell Comedy of Errors on May 3, 4
- Banquet on May 3 and Avon Village Faire Day and Market on May 4
Further details can be found on the website www.stratfordshakespeare.com.au

Coming up at Palace Cinemas:
from March 27 - Romeo and Juliet
RSC 2013-14 season live on screen:
from June 7 ~ Henry IV Part 1 with Antony Sher, directed by Greg Doran;
from July 12 ~ Henry IV Part 2;
from September 27 ~ Two Gentlemen of Verona
Session dates & times for Como, Balwyn & Brighton Bay Cinemas may vary.
Check at www.palacecinemas.com.au/events/royalshakespearecompany20132014season/

The results of the Sonnet Competition held last year are now available.
Congratulations to the JOINT WINNERS:
       William Cotter, of Bairnsdale VIC for Exercising the mind
       John Whitworth, of Canterbury, Kent UK. for You and the universe
SECOND PRIZE:
      Ray Kelley, of Indooroopilly QLD, for Why can't they be like we were?
COMMENDED:
       Vicki Harrold, of Eastwood NSW for The face in the mirror
       Janeen Samuel of Hamilton VIC for Smoke
       John Carey of Chatswood NSW for Financial advisor's report
A collection of these, and other entries, will be published later this year.

Oxford University's Continuing Education department runs 'a stimulating, but enjoyable', English Literature Summer School on an annual basis. The program consists of a series of lectures and seminar meetings in small groups.
William Shakespeare is the subject of two courses this year:
'Shakespeare and Politics: Then and Now All of Shakespeare's plays are bound up in the politics of their time, but at given points in history some have seemed more obviously 'political' than others. In this seminar we shall discuss plays that had a particular political dimension in the early modern period - notably Richard II, Richard III and Macbeth - and speculate on Shakespeare's contribution to Sir Thomas More. We shall then consider the titles that can have political dimensions today, such as Henry V, The Taming of the Shrew and The Merchant of Venice.
'Shakespeare on Stage and Screen: In this seminar we shall explore the many different ways in which Shakespeare can be performed on stage and screen. While referring to a wide range of titles, we shall focus our discussion on interpretations of three plays - Twelfth Night, Henry V and Hamlet. Viewing extracts from British and American Shakespeare films, we shall investigate some key differences between stage and screen Shakespeare, consider the variety of approaches taken by directors, and compare different interpretations of the same play or role.'

It is to be held at Exeter College, Oxford from Sunday 6th to Saturday 26th July 2014. Fees vary from AU$5528 or AU$5046 (residential) to AU$2222 (non-residential) and there are very detailed application conditions and processes.
Further information can be obtained at www.conted.ox.ac.uk/englishliterature
or email ipenglit@conted.ox.ac.uk

Rules of Association are available 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!)




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  Updated March 26th, 2014