Entering its 23rd year, 2013 signifies a new way of looking at things for Bell Shakespeare, including the appointment of Peter Evans as Co-Artistic Director of the Company, alongside John Bell. Peter’s appointment makes a significant statement about succession planning and the longevity and aspirations of the Company. Unveiling the three sides to its 2013 season, Bell Shakespeare spans the full spectrum of history, tragedy and comedy: • John Bell fulfils a life-long ambition to play Shakespeare’s greatest comic invention, Falstaff in one of his favourite plays, HENRY 4 • Peter Evans directs Catherine McClements in PHÈDRE, Racine’s tragic tale of a powerful older woman destroyed by forbidden lust • Rising star of Australian theatre, Imara Savage directs a new production of The Bard’s most robust and bawdy comedy, THE COMEDY OF ERRORS • The Players – the Company’s travelling acting ensemble – perform in Peter Evans’ production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, specifically for Australian students • Bell Shakespeare’s development arm, MIND’S EYE will continue seeking out and supporting innovative artists including Peter Houghton, Rita Kalnejais, Caleb Lewis, Luke Mullins, Lachlan Philpott, Sue Smith and Alana Valentine • The BELL SHAKESPEARE LEARNING programme continues to grow in size and opportunity, with more opportunities for students and teachers to truly appreciate Shakespeare’s work through live performance.
Henry 4 by William Shakespeare
A coming-of-age story about the conflict between a rebellious son and an autocratic, domineering father, John Bell directs and stars in Shakespeare’s sprawling epic tale of adventure, ambition and political intrigue. In this new production, starring 13 of Australia’s finest actors alongside John Bell, Henry IV Parts One and Two are condensed into an action-packed piece of great dramatic tension and passion, interspersed with riotous and bawdy comedy, music and violence. CANBERRA THEATRE CENTRE, THE PLAYHOUSE 27 Feb – 9 Mar ARTS CENTRE MELBOURNE, PLAYHOUSE 16 – 30 Mar SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE, DRAMA THEATRE 24 April – 26 May
Phèdre by Jean Racine
Continuing the Company’s adventure into French classical theatre, Peter Evans directs Ted Hughes’ passionately wrought translation of love, betrayal, despair, and death. Featuring Marco Chiappi, Abby Earl, Julie Forsyth and Catherine McClements, this elegant, suspense-filled tragedy explores the power of human emotion – of what it can create and what it can destroy. THE MALTHOUSE, MERLYN THEATRE 23 May – 2 June SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE, PLAYHOUSE 8 – 29 June
The Comedy Of Errors by William Shakespeare
This new production of The Bard’s most robust and bawdy comedy, staged in conjunction with State Theatre Company of South Australia, is a perfect playground for comic performers and will star a cast of Australia’s most versatile actors including Nathan O’Keefe, Elena Carapetis, Jude Henshall and Hazem Shammas. It is directed by the Company’s 2011 resident director, Imara Savage, who is fast building a reputation as a stylish director with a series of thoughtful and engaging productions already behind her. ARTS CENTRE MELBOURNE, FAIRFAX STUDIO 22 – 31 Aug CANBERRA THEATRE CENTRE, THE PLAYHOUSE 31 Oct – 9 Nov SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE, PLAYHOUSE 15 Nov – 7 Dec Also touring to 29 other metro and regional venues around the country.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
Bell Shakespeare’s travelling acting ensemble The Players, perform in a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream specifically for Australian students in Sydney and Melbourne. Co-Artistic Director, Peter Evans, will offer up his version of this classic romantic comedy in a highly physical, truly transformative production, with the Players morphing into a multitude of characters inhabiting the vibrant fairy world and the motley crew of the play within the play, The Mechanicals. SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE, PLAYHOUSE 22 July – 9 Aug THE NATIONAL THEATRE, MELBOURNE 13 Aug – 16 Aug
For more information and to book a Season Package, visit 2013season.bellshakespeare.com.au. For extended video content including behind-the-scenes interviews, visit youtube.com/bellshakespeare.
For over 22 years, Bell Shakespeare has been transforming words on a page into lively, contemporary performances, engaging students in schools across Australia. The 2013 Bell Learning programme aims to inspire teachers and students to share the love of Shakespeare. The Company introduces a brand new troupe of eight talented actors, The Players, in 2013. After the 2012 team travelled successfully to more than 260 schools and venues around the country, a new team have been chosen to don their theatre blacks, load up the van with roadcases of props and drive all over regional Australia to bring Shakespeare’s plays to life as part of the Actors At Work programme. In 2013, the two travelling one-hour Actors At Work shows will be Such Sweet Sorrow, directed by Francesca Savige, and the Macbeth: Undone, directed by Matt Edgerton. In addition to the dedicated schools’ show, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mainstage Matinees also return in 2013 – daytime performances of the Company’s three main touring shows for the year – as well as in-school Student Masterclasses to deepen students’ engagement with Shakespeare’s works. A new one-day Shakespeare in the Drama Classroom Professional Learning day will be initiated in 2013 focusing on practical exercises for acting, storytelling, characterisation, script analysis and interpretation for teachers, in addition to the National Teacher Forum ‘Shakespeare Fever’ and the Shakespeare Weekender for teachers. Bell Shakespeare will also continue to present long-form residencies at regional and remote schools. The Artist in Residence programme allows a school, anywhere in Australia, to have a Bell Shakespeare Arts Educator to ‘live-in’ and conduct a tailored residency developed in consultation with the school. Following the success of its inaugural year, this opportunity will be offered for periods of up to two weeks again in 2013.
For more information, visit bellshakespeare.com.au/learning.
The better part of valor is discretion. —Falstaff, Act 5, Scene 4
A coming-of-age story about the conflict between a rebellious son and an autocratic, domineering father. John Bell directs and stars in Shakespeare’s epic tale of adventure, ambition and political intrigue. Set in the present day, and providing an Australian perspective on English history with its monarchy, its class system and its civil unrest, Henry 4 is a searing appraisal of politicians and the manipulation and deceit employed to get to the top.
BY William Shakespeare DIRECTOR John Bell with Damien Ryan DESIGNER Stephen Curtis LIGHTING DESIGNER Matt Scott TEXT CAPTAIN Tony Llewellyn-Jones WITH John Bell, Matthew Moore & Sean Taylor CANBERRA THEATRE CENTRE THE PLAYHOUSE 23 February – 9 March ARTS CENTRE MELBOURNE PLAYHOUSE 16 – 30 March SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE DRAMA THEATRE 24 April – 26 May
Henry Bolingbroke has fought to usurp the throne from Richard II, but when the moment finally arrives and he assumes the title of King Henry IV, his teenage son, Prince Hal, shows a particular disregard for his newfound status. He prefers to spend his time in pubs with petty criminals and prostitutes, and with an old reprobate named Falstaff (John Bell fulfilling a life-long ambition to play Shakespeare’s greatest comic invention). It is only when a rebellion is staged against the new king that the teenage rebel Prince Hal rallies to his father’s side and transforms himself into the charismatic hero Henry V. Henry 4 is set to recapture the boisterous atmosphere of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre for a modern audience, with 14 of Australia’s finest actors bringing to life this populous story of kings and beggars, heroes and cowards, lovers and clowns. Director, John Bell says: “I’m looking forward to finally tackling the role of Falstaff – the Lord of misrule, the life of the party, the corrupter of youth – in this colourful canvas of characters from the heroic to the grotesque, the comical to the tragic. “In an emotional tug of war between Prince Hal and his father, Shakespeare explores the conflict between family duty and the search for a personal identity.” In this new production, Henry IV Parts One and Two are condensed into a piece of great dramatic tension and passion, interspersed with riotous and bawdy comedy, music and violence.
Look at me – see a woman in frenzy. I am in love. —Phèdre, Act 1
Catherine McClements stars in Racine’s tragic tale of a powerful older woman destroyed by forbidden lust. This most famous of French tragedies continues Bell Shakespeare’s foray into French classical theatre, with Co-Artistic Director Peter Evans directing Ted Hughes’ passionately wrought translation of love, betrayal, humiliation, despair, death. Phèdre is married to a notorious and absent King Theseus, who has been missing for months. When rumours of his death reach her, the forbidden desire that has been rising in her erupts in a confession of devastating love for her stepson, Hippolytus. BY Jean Racine TRANSLATED by Ted Hughes DIRECTOR Peter Evans DESIGNER Anna Cordingley LIGHTING DESIGNER Paul Jackson COMPOSER Kelly Ryall WITH Catherine McClements, Marco Chiappi & Julie Forsyth THE MALTHOUSE MERLYN THEATRE 23 May – 2 June SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE PLAYHOUSE 7 – 30 June
Rejected by him and faced with the shock return of her husband, the devastated Phèdre stands-by whilst her stepson is accused of her rape. This mythic tale of erotic obsession explodes with wild accusations, chilling curses and violent deaths. Director Peter Evans says: “Phèdre is an eternal triangle: two young lovers, a prince and a princess, thwarted in their love by a third person. Based on the ancient Greek play by Euripides, Racine’s masterpiece is translated from the French by English poet Ted Hughes, in a beautiful mix of classical and contemporary language. “I’m particularly excited to be collaborating with Catherine McClements, one of this country’s most incisive and powerful actors, in the role of the doomed Queen.” Although more than 2000 years old, this elegant, suspense-filled tragedy explores the power of human emotion that remains just as pertinent today; the power of what it can create, and what it can destroy.
Am I in earth, in heaven, or in hell? Sleeping or waking? mad or well-advised? Known unto these, and to myself disguised! —Antipholus of Syracuse, Act 2, Scene 2
A riotously funny take on one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays, directed by rising star in Australian theatre, Imara Savage. This new co-production with State Theatre Company of South Australia of The Bard’s most robust and bawdy comedy is a perfect playground for comic performers and will star a cast of Australia’s most versatile actors including Nathan O’Keefe, Elena Carapetis, Jude Henshall and Hazem Shammas. A wealthy merchant’s wife bears him identical twin boys. On the same day, a poor couple also have twins who are purchased by the merchant as servants to his sons. A co-production with State Theatre Company of South Australia BY William Shakespeare DIRECTOR Imara Savage DESIGNER Pip Runciman LIGHTING DESIGNER Mark Pennington WITH Nathan O’Keefe, Elena Carapetis, Jude Henshall & Hazem Shammas ARTS CENTRE MELBOURNE FAIRFAX STUDIO 22 August – 31 August CANBERRA THEATRE CENTRE THE PLAYHOUSE 31 October – 9 November SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE PLAYHOUSE 15 November – 7 December The Comedy Of Errors also tours to over 30 regional centres across Australia. For venues and dates, see next page.
A shipwreck splits the family until, many years later, they find themselves in the same city – Ephesus; a transitory, shifty, port-town, a place of transaction, both monetary and sexual. Confusions ensue as the two sets of twins are constantly mistaken for each other. Sharp banter and comical word play lure us into a world where characters are reinvented, individuality is fluid and the boundary between what’s real and what isn’t becomes even more tenuous. Director Imara Savage says, “The Comedy Of Errors is a farce, but there is darkness in the light. Shakespeare raises questions of identity, sameness and difference. It’s about the fear of the other, fear of the unknown. And it’s about brotherhood and reconciliation. “I’m looking forward to touring the country with a diverse cast of 10 Australian actors who will reinvent themselves in different guises to populate the eclectic town of Ephesus.” This exploration of identity, madness and metamorphosis promises to be a fresh, fast-paced take on a Shakespearean essential.
PRESENTER State Theatre Company of South Australia The Arts Centre Gold Coast Ipswich Civic Theatre Townsville Civic Theatre Cairns Civic Theatre Mackay Entertainment Centre Pilbeam Theatre Araluen Arts Centre Bunbury Entertainment Centre Albany Entertainment Centre Mandurah Performing Arts Centre Frankston Arts Centre Arts Centre Melbourne, Fairfax Studio Nautilus Theatre Middleback Theatre Keith Michell Theatre Hopgood Theatre Chaffey Theatre Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre Theatre Royal Princess Theatre Mildura Arts Centre Wagga Wagga Civic Centre Dubbo Regional Theatre Orange Civic Theatre Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre Capital Theatre Manning Entertainment Centre Cessnock Performing Arts Centre Illawarra Performing Arts Centre Canberra Theatre Centre, The Playhouse Sydney Opera House, Playhouse
LOCATION DATE Adelaide SA 28 June – 14 July Gold Coast QLD 17–18 July Ipswich QLD 19 July Townsville QLD 23 July Cairns QLD 25 July Mackay QLD 27 July Rockhampton QLD 31 July Alice Springs NT 3 August Bunbury WA 8 August Albany WA 10 August Mandurah WA 13 August Frankston VIC 17 August Melbourne VIC 22–31 August Port Lincoln SA 3 September Whyalla SA 5 September Port Pirie SA 7 September Noarlunga SA 10 September Renmark SA 12 September Mt Gambier SA 14 September Hobart TAS 18–21 September Launceston TAS 23–24 September Mildura VIC 27 September Wagga Wagga NSW 2 October Dubbo NSW 4–5 October Orange NSW 9 October Bathurst NSW 10 October Tamworth NSW 12 October Taree NSW 17 October Cessnock NSW 19 October Wollongong NSW 22–26 October Canberra ACT 31 October – 9 November Sydney NSW 15 November – 7 December
I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was. —Bottom, Act 4, Scene 1
Bell Shakespeare’s travelling acting ensemble, The Players, perform in a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream specifically for students in Sydney and Melbourne. Students will have the opportunity to experience this much-loved play and enjoy the charming and witty exchanges between the endearing lovers; Helena, Hermia, Lysander and Demetrius. Bell Shakespeare’s Co-Artistic Director, Peter Evans, will offer up his version of this classic romantic comedy in a highly physical, truly transformative production. The Players will take over the stage, morphing into a multitude of characters inhabiting the vibrant fairy world and the motley crew of the play within the play, The Mechanicals. Co-presented in Sydney with Sydney Opera House BY William Shakespeare DIRECTOR PETER EVANS MOVEMENT DIRECTOR NIGEL POULTON WITH THE 2013 PLAYERS SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE PLAYHOUSE 22 July – 9 August 10am and 1pm daily THE NATIONAL THEATRE MELBOURNE 13 August – 16 August 10am and 1pm daily
With Nigel Poulton as Movement Director, this production will uncover all the magic, mayhem and romance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and celebrate the illusion of theatre and performance itself. “Work for students has been central to John Bell’s vision for the company since the first year of Bell Shakespeare’s existence. I relish the chance to work with The Players, joining with my collaborator Nigel Poulton in a fresh, vital take on one of Shakespeare’s endearing, heartwarming and ever-troubling take on love and betrayal”, says Evans. Over the past two years, since Bell Shakespeare commenced its mainstage productions for schools, over 33,000 students have seen these shows in Australia. This production is suitable for Years 7–12 English and Drama students.
The Bell Shakespeare Learning programme is growing in size and opportunities, reaching further around Australia and becoming more and more diverse each year. Following the huge success of Damien Ryan’s Romeo And Juliet, which was attended by over 33,000 students in Victoria and New South Wales in 2011 and 2012, Bell Shakespeare presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the mainstage in 2013. The production is directed by Co-Artistic Director Peter Evans and is Bell Shakespeare’s second dedicated schools show to be put on in mainstage venues for student groups. It will be performed by Bell Shakespeare’s travelling acting ensemble The Players at both the Sydney Opera House and the National Theatre in Melbourne. Bell Shakespeare introduces a brand new troupe of eight talented actors, The Players, in 2013. After the 2012 team travelled successfully to more than 260 schools and venues around the country, a new team have been chosen to don their theatre blacks, load up the van with roadcases of props and drive all over regional Australia to bring Shakespeare’s plays to life as part of the Actors At Work programme. In 2013 the two travelling one-hour Actors At Work shows will be Such Sweet Sorrow, based on Romeo And Juliet and directed by Francesca Savige, and the Macbeth: Undone, directed by Matt Edgerton. Mainstage Matinees also return in 2013: daytime performances of the Company’s three main touring shows for the year. Henry 4 will have student matinees in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney and Phèdre in Melbourne and Sydney. The Comedy Of Errors will have mainstage student matinees in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney, but also extensively in regional Australia, where students will be able to attend complimentary workshops on the text with Bell Shakespeare Arts Educators, as well as audition for the Regional Performance Scholarship for 2013 while the company is in town. Incredibly popular last year, Bell Shakespeare will once again offer in-school Student Masterclasses to deepen students’ engagement with Shakespeare’s works. There are now 13 of Shakespeare’s plays offered as part of these masterclasses as well as an ‘Introduction to Shakespeare’ masterclass. The Company’s Arts Educators will once again visit classrooms to provide an action-packed two-hour experience that will firmly lodge the intricacies of Shakespeare’s texts into the minds of their students. It’s not all about the pupils, however. A new one-day Shakespeare in the Drama Classroom Professional Learning day will be initiated in 2013 focusing on practical exercises for acting, storytelling, characterisation, script analysis and interpretation for teachers in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Returning in 2013 are the Professional Learning sessions for both new and experienced teachers, including a revised version of the National Teacher Forum ‘Shakespeare Fever’, running in each state and territory and aimed to arm teachers with innovative, engaging and entertaining strategies to take into the classroom. Also returning is the Shakespeare Weekender for teachers. Held at Bell Shakespeare headquarters in Sydney, the response to this programme in its inaugural year in 2012 has brought the long-form session back to life for 2013. Full-day sessions will focus on demystifying three key plays – Romeo And Juliet, Macbeth and Hamlet – and teachers will also attend a performance of Henry 4 at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Weekender. Bell Shakespeare will also continue to present long-form residencies at regional and remote schools. The Artist in Residence programme is now offered in an on demand format, and allows a school, anywhere in Australia, to have a Bell Shakespeare Arts Educator to ‘live-in’ and conduct a tailored residency developed in consultation with the school. Following the success of its inaugural year in 2012, this opportunity will be offered for periods of up to two weeks again in 2013. For more information on Bell Shakespeare’s Learning programmes visit bellshakespeare.com.au/learning
In 2013, Mind’s Eye will maintain a focus on identifying and supporting innovative artistic partnerships, creatively developing new work and exploring contemporary responses to classical work and ideas. With an emphasis on new writing, Mind’s Eye honours a strong connection to a writing tradition, and in 2013 Bell Shakespeare will continue the work started in 2012 with some of Australia’s most exciting playwrights. Mind’s Eye Director, and Bell Shakespeare Co-Artistic Director, Peter Evans says: “Mind’s Eye is the engine room of Bell Shakespeare, driving ideas and creativity throughout the Company and the broader industry. “It’s incredibly inspiring to be working with such an impressive array of artists, and to see their ideas grow and take shape without the immediate requirement of a public outcome. We look forward to these works developing and to many more artistic partnerships in 2013 and beyond”. Writer, Director and Actor Peter Houghton’s Love’s Labours Won, currently at first draft stage, is a new comedy that aims at the heart of the Shakespeare legacy – words, poetry, genius and that moment in time when the audience and the play were inexorably connected. This highly farcical ensemble work will see a second and final draft in 2013. Rita Kalnejais is researching a new play, Fidelity. An exploration of surrender, betrayal and being burned alive, it looks at the intimacy between Jeanne d’Arc and Charles VII but is set in a 21st century hotel room complete with Gideon bibles and a minibar. There’s no record of what passed between them in that room but after those hours alone, Charles was ready to surrender everything – resources, reputation and the destiny of the people of France. He gave it all. It’s what can happen when your god seizes your body. It’s the start of a great love story. Caleb Lewis will continue working on his new play Sleep With Me, delivering a second draft in early 2013. This unsettling new work explores conscious versus unconscious desire and action, and the havoc it can wreak on a marriage. Luke Mullins and Lachlan Philpott have been jointly commissioned to develop and write a new play Body/Double. In the spirit of Twelfth Night and The Comedy Of Errors, this new play will examine the complex nature of contemporary identity. With a two-week writing workshop scheduled for March 2013, Luke and Lachlan will examine questions of identity, fame, celebrity culture, privacy and the existential nature of the true self. Writer Sue Smith will work collaboratively with director Imara Savage to tease out the ideas Imara explored in her previous creative development workshop titled Lear. Set in an aged care facility, this work asks the questions: who are we when we lose our history; how do we communicate when words cease to have meaning and what would happen if we could no longer trust our memory? Award-winning writer Alana Valentine will continue work on Cyberia. This verbatim-based adaptation of The Taming Of The Shrew relocates the play to a contemporary teenage world where cyber-bullying, sexting, online porn and rootrater sites are the norm of an Australian adolescence.
John Bell founds Bell Shakespeare.
Seasons at Sydney Showground, Canberra Agricultural Centre and the Athenaeum Theatre Melbourne: Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice. Launch of Actors At Work education programme, performing to 10,000 students.
Seasons in Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra: Richard III, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice. Launch of disadvantaged student workshops. Launch of corporate communication workshops.
Seasons in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide: Hamlet, Richard III, Romeo And Juliet. Company produces Corporate Video Training Packages. Receives funding from Playing Australia (Federal Government).
Seasons in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Newcastle and Perth: Macbeth, The Taming Of The Shrew. Commences student matinees, student and teacher workshops. John Bell performs in Shanghai, Guang Zhou, Tokyo and Hong Kong.
Seasons in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Monash: Pericles, Twelfth Night. Launch of publishing activities with Science Press. Company is included in a group of national companies funded through MOB (Major Organisations Board).
Seasons in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and regional centres in QLD and NSW: Much Ado About Nothing, Coriolanus (directed by Steven Berkoff), Storm Boy Performs at Sydney Opera House, Playhouse for the first time. Recordings of Twelfth Night and Pericles released through ABC shops. Launches Primary School production programme. Launch of Bell series of debates.
Seasons in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide: The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest. Launches national tour to QLD, NT, NSW, VIC and SA: Macbeth. Primary school production programme tours throughout NSW, ACT and QLD: Sadako And The Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr.
Seasons in Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart, Monash and Perth: Henry 4, King Lear. Company introduces lunch time forums. Pioneers policy of discounted tickets to mainstage productions for patrons under the age of 27.
Seasons in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Hobart, Geelong, Orange and Perth: The Merchant Of Venice, Henry 5. National tour to regional centres in NSW, SA, VIC, TAS, QLD and NT: Romeo And Juliet. Presents co-production with Queensland Theatre Company in Brisbane and Melbourne: Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Eugene O’Neill. Introduces new programme for 6 – 12 year olds touring in NSW, ACT and QLD, performing to over 25,000 school children: The Listmaker by Robyn Klein. Receives funding from NSW State Government (NSW Ministry for the Arts).
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Seasons in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart, Launceston, Geelong, the Gold Coast and Perth: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Troilus + Cressida. National tour throughout VIC, NSW, QLD, WA and NT: Much Ado About Nothing. Presents co-production with the State Theatre Company of South Australia, touring Adelaide, Japan, and Canberra: Dance of Death by August Strindberg. Seasons in NSW, TAS and VIC: Sadako And The Thousand Paper Cranes. Website launched. Company joins AMPAG (Australian Major Performing Arts Group).
Seasons in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Orange, Wagga Wagga, Newcastle, Wollongong, Parramatta, Geelong, Hobart and Perth: Julius Caesar, Antony And Cleopatra. Performs at Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne for the first time. Season in Sydney: Shakespeare’s R&J. Introduces teacher training workshops.
Seasons in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Wagga Wagga and Newcastle of a co-production with Queensland Theatre Company: Richard 3. John Bell wins Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Drama for his role in Richard 3. Season in Sydney: Hippolytus by David Malouf. National tour to 21 capital cities and regional centres throughout Australia: The Taming Of The Shrew. National Tour to NSW, ACT, VIC, SA, WA and QLD: The Soldier’s Tale by Stravinsky, in collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Seasons in SA and VIC: My Girragundji. Education programme tours to Singapore. Launches Bell Leadership Initiative. Launches Regional Student Performance Scholarship. Launches Capital Campaign fundraising appeal.
Seasons in NSW, ACT, VIC and TAS: Hamlet. Seasons in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Wollongong and Newcastle: As You Like It. National tour across all states and territories: The Servant Of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni. Education programme tours to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Launches Shakespeare In Action outreach programme for disadvantaged schools. John Bell receives Cultural Leader of the Year award from Prime Minister John Howard and Dame Elisabeth Murdoch.
2004 Seasons in all capital cities: The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni. National tour across NSW, VIC, ACT, TAS and NT: A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Seasons in Hobart, Newcastle, Brisbane, Wagga Wagga, Perth and Adelaide: The Comedy Of Errors. Seasons in Melbourne, Canberra, Wollongong, Sydney and Orange: Twelfth Night. Actors At Work reaches students in remote locations using the Interactive Distance Learning Centre in NT via the Optus Satellite. First Actors At Work Far West tour to remote areas of NSW. Optus/Bell Shakespeare Make A Scene competition launched. Receives three-year funding for education programme from NSW Government. 2005 Seasons in all capital cities: Wars Of The Roses, Measure For Measure, The Two Gentlemen Of Verona, The Servant Of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni. Establishes rehearsal spaces in the Argyle Stores, The Rocks, with the support of the NSW Government. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
2006 Seasons in Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Orange, Wagga Wagga and Geelong: Romeo And Juliet Seasons in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney: The Tempest. Receives funding from the Victorian Government (Arts Victoria). Number of students participating in education programmes grows to over 80,000. Tours The Comedy Of Errors to the UK. Launches Hearts In A Row fundraising initiative in Sydney. 2007 Seasons in Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and Orange: Othello starring Wayne Blair, the first indigenous Australian to play the title role in a major national touring production. First production directed by newly appointed Associate Director, Marion Potts. Seasons in Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney: The Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol. Tours nationally to 32 venues: Macbeth. Launches Regional Teacher Scholarship. Commonwealth Government grants $1 million three-year funding for education programme. Establishes Young Artists Endowment in support of new and emerging directors of Shakespeare. 2008
Presents co-production with Queensland Theatre Company in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne: Anatomy Titus Fall Of Rome: A Shakespeare Commentary by Heiner Müller, with an all-male cast. Seasons in Sydney and Melbourne: Hamlet. Seasons in Melbourne and Sydney: Just Macbeth!, a collaboration with children’s author, Andy Griffith. Tours nationally to 35 venues: As You Like It. Inaugural Mind’s Eye production with Malthouse Melbourne: Venus & Adonis.
2009 Presents co-production with Queensland Theatre Company in Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane and Perth: The Alchemist by Ben Jonson. Presents collaboration with TaikOz in Sydney and Melbourne: Pericles. Tours nationally to 35 venues: The Taming Of The Shrew, with an all-female cast. Seasons in Sydney and New Zealand (Auckland Festival): Venus & Adonis. Launches Hearts In A Row fundraising initiative in Canberra. 2010 20th Anniversary production has seasons in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth: King Lear. Tours nationally to 29 venues, including Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne: Twelfth Night. Seasons in Sydney and Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Just Macbeth! Inaugural Young Artists’ Endowment recipient, Jessica Tuckwell joins the Company for one year. Rough Magic exhibition held at the Arts Centre, Melbourne, featuring 20 years of Bell Shakespeare photographs, posters, costumes and accessories, along with a projected compilation of production footage. 2011
Peter Evans joins the company as Associate Artistic Director. Imara Savage is the 2011 Director in Residence. Seasons in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne: Much Ado About Nothing. Presents co-production with Queensland Theatre Company in Sydney and Brisbane: Faustus adapted and directed by Michael Gow. Tours nationally to 27 venues, including Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney and 24 regional centres around Australia: Julius Caesar, rehearsing in Melbourne for the first time. Establishes new troupe of travelling actors, The Players, presenting a schools-dedicated production of Romeo And Juliet with seasons in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane (Brisbane Festival).
Peter Evans joins John Bell as Co-Artistic Director of Bell Shakespeare. John Kachoyan is the 2012 Director in Residence. Seasons in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne: Macbeth. Season in Sydney: The Duchess Of Malfi. Tours nationally to 27 venues, including Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney and 24 regional centres around Australia: The School For Wives. Schools-dedicated production with seasons in Sydney and Melbourne: Romeo And Juliet.
Bell Shakespeare has appointed Peter Evans as Co-Artistic Director of the Company, alongside John Bell AO. John Bell said, “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Peter Evans as the Co-Artistic Director of Bell Shakespeare. Peter renewed his acquaintance with the Company in 2011, joining me as Associate Artistic Director. “Since then he has directed Julius Caesar and Macbeth for the Company as well as taking on the curatorship of our Mind’s Eye research and development wing and demonstrated great skill and love for Shakespeare and the classics. “While not signalling my own imminent departure, Peter’s appointment makes a significant statement about the Company’s succession planning and our confidence in the longevity and aspirations of the Company. His appointment comes at an exciting time for Bell; and after 22 years as the Company’s sole Artistic Director, I welcome the infusion of fresh energy, vision and collaboration that Peter will bring to his role.” Peter Evans said “I feel incredibly privileged to be appointed Co-Artistic Director of Bell Shakespeare and that John feels that I am the person who will be most true to his vision and legacy. We both share a passion and enormous respect for these great works and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to devote my life to them in this next phase of my career. I look forward to this next iteration of our partnership.” Peter’s appointment will take effect from 4 October 2012, and will ensure a diversity of work as the Company expands. Ilana Atlas, Chairman of Bell Shakespeare said “The Board is delighted that Peter will become Co-Artistic Director of Bell Shakespeare with John. We are confident this artistic partnership will assure the continuity of the Company’s great work and success well into the future.”
John Bell is Co-Artistic Director of Bell Shakespeare and one of Australia’s most acclaimed theatre personalities. In a career of acting and directing, John has been instrumental in shaping the Australian theatre industry as we know it. After graduating from Sydney University in 1962 John worked for the Old Tote Theatre Company, all of Australia’s state theatre companies and was an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company in the United Kingdom. As co-founder of Sydney’s Nimrod Theatre Company, John presented many productions of landmark Australian plays including David Williamson’s Travelling North, The Club and The Removalists. He also initiated an Australian Shakespeare style with Nimrod productions such as Much Ado About Nothing and Macbeth. In 1990 John founded The Bell Shakespeare Company where his productions have included Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Romeo And Juliet, The Taming Of The Shrew, Richard 3, Pericles, Henry 4, Henry 5, Julius Caesar, Antony And Cleopatra, The Comedy Of Errors, Wars Of The Roses, Measure For Measure, Macbeth and As You Like It, as well as Goldoni’s The Servant Of Two Masters, Gogol’s The Government Inspector and Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist. His Shakespeare roles include Hamlet, Shylock, Henry V, Richard III, Macbeth, Malvolio, Berowne, Petruchio, Leontes, Coriolanus, Prospero, King Lear and Titus Andronicus. He played the title role in co-productions with Queensland Theatre Company including: Richard 3, Heiner Müller’s Anatomy Titus Fall Of Rome: A Shakespeare Commentary and performed the role of Mephistopheles in the most recent co-production, Faustus. John recently directed a production of The Rake’s Progress for the Victorian Opera and has also directed a production of Madame Butterfly for an Oz Opera national tour and performed the role of the Professor in Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Uncle Vanya, presented in association with Bell Shakespeare. John Bell is an Officer of the Order of Australia and the Order of the British Empire. He has an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the Universities of Sydney, New South Wales and Newcastle. In 1997 he was named by the National Trust of Australia as one of Australia’s Living Treasures. In 2003 the Australia Business Arts Foundation awarded John the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Cultural Leadership Award. His many awards as an actor and director include a Helpmann Award for Best Actor (Richard 3, 2002), a Producers and Directors Guild Award for Lifetime Achievement and the JC Williamson Award (2009) for extraordinary contribution to Australia’s live entertainment industry and the 2010 Sydney Theatre Award for Lifetime Achievement in recognition of his extraordinary career as an actor, director and producer. In 2013 John will direct and star in Henry 4 as part of the Bell Shakespeare 2013 season.
Peter Evans is Bell Shakespeare’s Co-Artistic Director with John Bell. For Bell Shakespeare, Peter has directed Julius Caesar, Macbeth, The Two Gentlemen Of Verona and The Tempest and worked as Associate Director with the Company in 2005. Peter was Associate Director at Melbourne Theatre Company from 2007 to 2010, directing Clybourne Park, A Beheading of Spokane, Life Without Me, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, The Ugly One, The Grenade, God of Carnage, Savage River (co-production with Griffin Theatre Company), Realism, The Hypocrite, Blackbird, Don Juan in Soho, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The History Boys, Don’s Party, The Give and Take, Dumbshow and The Daylight Atheist. His other theatre credits include Pygmalion, The Great, Fat Pig and The Give and Take for Sydney Theatre Company; Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, King Lear, Copenhagen, Proof, Muldoon and The Christian Brothers for New Zealand’s Court Theatre; The Daylight Atheist for Queensland Theatre Company; The Yellow Wallpaper and A Poor Student for the Store Room at the Malthouse Theatre; Jesus Hopped the A Train for Red Stitch Actors Theatre; Sexual Perversity in Chicago for Theatre Jamb at the Bondi Pavilion; Kiss of the Spiderwoman for Theatre Adami at the Stables and The Dumb Waiter for the Studio Company at Belvoir St Theatre. In 2013 Peter will direct Phèdre as part of the Bell Shakespeare 2013 season.