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Listed under:  Arts  >  Drama (Arts)  >  Regional theatre  >  English theatre  >  Elizabethan theatre
Audio

Changing interpretations of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'

Have you ever heard anyone say the famous line 'To be or not to be, that is the question'? They are Hamlet's opening lines from Act 3 of William Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'. But what does Hamlet mean when he says this? This interview looks at changing interpretations of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' through the ages.

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Silly, naughty - and Shakespeare!

Join early rehearsals of Black Swan State Theatre Company's 2011 production of Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. Meet the director, actors, set designer and costume designer of a contemporary production. Watch actors do a read-through and describe ways that they establish character and work as part of a comedic ...

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The universality of Shakespeare

Have you ever tried to read Shakespeare or watched one of his plays or a movie based on one? Most people find Shakespeare hard work because the English language has changed so much since the 16th and 17th centuries in which he worked. Yet many of those who persist with Shakespeare see him as the greatest of all writers. ...

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Shakespearean Language

This resource for students is the first in a series of three entitled 'Introduction to Shakespeare', which focuses mainly on 'The Taming of the Shrew'. Students are asked to write sentences in modern English which feature a common word from Shakespeare's time. A link to Shakespearean insults is then provided and students ...

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Shakespeare sweated it!

Ben Jonson, a 17th-century playwright and critic, said of Shakespeare that 'a great poet is not just born, but made'. Enjoy this discussion between Phillip Adams and John Bell, Australian actor and director of the Bell Shakespeare company. They explore soliloquies, authorship and why Shakespeare came to be considered the ...

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What makes Shakespeare so special anyway?

Few literary figures are as widely revered as William Shakespeare. But just how did this glove-maker's son grow to become the greatest writer of the English language? Explore the extraordinary appeal of Shakespeare with John Bell, Australia's pre-eminent Shakespearean actor and director. If you like this clip, listen to ...

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Primary school kids embrace the Bard

William Shakespeare is probably the most famous writer in the English language. Along with staging Shakespeare's plays for audiences around Australia, the Bell Shakespeare Company visits schools to introduce 'the Bard's materpieces' to students. Find out how it all works when host Julia Baird and The Drum panellists talk ...

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Macbeth: are you a man or a mouse?

Let's get inside the devious mind of Lady Macbeth! Bell Shakespeare's Kate Mulvany and John Bell explore the methods Lady Macbeth uses to manipulate her husband. This delightfully despicable character knows just which buttons to press! Listen in on the conversation with James Evans and see for yourself.

Online

Shakespeare Unbound

Shakespeare doesn’t get any better than this. Actors from Australia’s famous Bell Shakespeare Company, including Artistic Director John Bell, present key scenes from six of Shakespeare’s best-known works before joining conversations to dissect the playwright’s use of character, plot and language. Custom-made for Australian ...

Video

Macbeth: are you a man or a mouse?

Let's get inside the devious mind of Lady Macbeth! Bell Shakespeare's Kate Mulvany and John Bell explore the methods Lady Macbeth uses to manipulate her husband. This delightfully despicable character knows just which buttons to press! Listen in on the conversation with James Evans and see for yourself.

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Introduction to Shakespeare: Ten Things I Hate about You

This resource for students is the third in a series of three entitled 'Introduction to Shakespeare', which is mainly based on a study of 'The Taming of the Shrew'. This resource asks students to: write a plot summary of the film; contrast plot flow charts of the play and the film; discuss gender roles in Shakespeare's ...

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Was Shakespeare psychic, or just a smart guy?

Shakespeare's plays are strangely relevant to today's world. Could he see what the world would be like 400 years into the future, or is it just that humans haven't changed much? Hear Phillip Adams and John Bell (actor and director of the Bell Shakespeare company) discussing Shakespeare's enduring relevance, as well as his ...

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Did Shakespeare really write his plays?

Did you know that there are some people who believe that Shakespeare did not write his own plays? They are called the anti-Stratfordians. Find out about why this group think someone else may have written Shakespeare's plays and see if you agree.

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'Romeo and Juliet': true love's passion

One of the most famous love scenes of all time is when Romeo and Juliet pledge their love for each other. Shakespeare's imagery evocatively captures the passion of two young lovers torn apart by their feuding families. Explore this pivotal scene as it is brought to life by Miranda Tapsell and Damien Strouthos of Bell Shakespeare.

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'Julius Caesar': comprehending Cassius

Cassius from Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar' is a very complex character! Although conspiring to overthrow Julius Caesar, the motivation to do so appears to stem from patriotism to Rome. Or does it? Join Bell Shakespeare's James Evans as he discusses Shakespeare's characterisation of this historical figure with actors Kate ...

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'Hamlet': mischievous or mad?

The question of whether Hamlet is mad or just pretending to be has plagued critics and theatre-goers alike. In this excerpt from 'Hamlet', the audience is confronted with this very question. Watch Eryn-Jean Norvill and Tom Conroy from Bell Shakespeare as they present the encounter between Hamlet and Ophelia from Act 3, scene 1.

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'Romeo and Juliet': growing up in a hurry

Act 3.2 in 'Romeo and Juliet' is a pivotal moment in Juliet's character development. Shakespeare manages to compress months of growing up into a single potent scene. Join James Evans as he explores Juliet's soliloquy from the beginning of this scene, and what it reveals about her coming of age, with Miranda Tapsell and ...

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'The Tempest': Shakespeare's farewell?

'The Tempest' is believed by some to be Shakespeare's final play. With this in mind, could Prospero in some ways represent Shakespeare himself? If so, Prospero's epilogue at the end of the play takes on a new and poignant resonance. John Bell discusses the themes of giving up and letting go with Bell Shakespeare's James ...

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'Hamlet': torment and tragedy

Hamlet is one of Shakespeare's most tormented tragic heroes. Unlike the protagonists of most other tragedies, Hamlet begins the play in a state of anguish. In this early soliloquy, the audience learns why. Tom Conroy from Bell Shakespeare realises Hamlet's agony in this moving excerpt from Act 1, scene 2.

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'Romeo and Juliet': galloping towards tragedy

Have you ever waited for someone with such anticipation that you felt you might burst? That's exactly the feeling experienced by Juliet, played by Miranda Tapsell of Bell Shakespeare, in this soliloquy as she calls on night to arrive and bring her new husband. Shakespeare's masterful use of dramatic irony puts the audience ...