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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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'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 ...

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'Julius Caesar': conspiracy and crime

In this early scene from Shakespeare's historical tragedy, Brutus and Cassius discuss Julius Caesar's right to rule. It acts as a prelude to the infamous conspiracy to assassinate Caesar. This performance by Hazem Shammas and Kate Mulvany of Bell Shakespeare reveals the persuasive power of language in Cassius' clever tongue ...

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'The Tempest': the island of grief

Caliban, the half-human antagonist of 'The Tempest', is often depicted as monstrous. Yet, modern readings of the play characterise him more sympathetically, particularly when viewed through a postcolonial lens. Join Bell Shakespeare's James Evans as he discusses with John Bell how Prospero's treatment of Caliban reflects ...

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'Julius Caesar': justifying murder

Brutus is in a dilemma! His friend Julius Caesar is about to be crowned Emperor of Rome. However, Brutus is concerned that Caesar will become a tyrant, and he wants to do what is best for Rome. Join interviewer James Evans and actors John Bell and Hazem Shammas from Bell Shakespeare as they explore the language of this ...

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'Othello': is Iago the vilest villain?

Some characters we just love to hate! Iago, the villain in Shakespeare's 'Othello', is a perfect example: scheming, manipulative but oh-so-clever. James Evans and actor Damien Ryan both of Bell Shakespeare, discuss the complex role of Iago. Evans explains just how skilfully Shakespeare employs language to fashion the dark ...

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'Othello': 'tis a wrong in your own world

What's good for the goose is good for the gander, so the saying goes. But does everyone agree with this? In Act 4, scene 3 of 'Othello', Emilia and Desdemona discuss the concept of fidelity. In doing so, they raise moral questions about gender and equality in Shakespeare's times. Listen as Kate Mulvany and Eryn-Jean Norvill ...

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'Othello': was Shakespeare a feminist?

Shakespeare seems to have a complicated relationship with his female characters. Some of his heroines are quite timid and compliant while others are complex and strong. Here, James Evans and Kate Mulvany from Bell Shakespeare explore Emilia's impassioned speech to Desdemona in Act 4, scene 3 of 'Othello'. They consider ...

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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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The depth of Ophelia's despair

Ophelia is the most piteous character in 'Hamlet'. It seems that everyone wants to use her for their own gain. Here, Eryn-Jean Norvill and John Bell from Bell Shakespeare explore this fragile character as they answer questions put to them by interviewer James Evans.

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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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Drama on the bus

Is someone watching you? It's just possible that there's an observer on your bus or train using the scenes and conversations that take place as a starting point for their art. That's what four playwrights did when they travelled together across Sydney on the 428 bus and came up with four completely different ideas for a play.

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Reality plays

In these days of reality TV and selfies it seems hard to imagine that plays focusing on ordinary people and their lives were once regarded as revolutionary. Van Badham, recent associate artist (writing) at Malthouse Theatre, discusses the historical context of the Henrik Ibsen play 'The Wild Duck'. She explores how it and ...

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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.

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'Othello': the birth of the green-eyed monster

You'd never want to get into an argument with Shakespeare, who certainly knows how to use words to convince! A key moment in Othello is in Act 3, scene 3, where Iago plants the seeds of doubt in Othello's mind about his wife's faithfulness. It is a study in masterful manipulation, as illustrated by Hazem Shammas and Damien ...

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'Macbeth': realisation and regret

'Macbeth' is a play drenched in bloodshed and death. In this haunting soliloquy, delivered after Macbeth hears of his beloved wife's death, Macbeth seems to emerge from his bloodlust and reflect on what it has achieved. Join Bell Shakespeare's Ivan Donato as he infuses Macbeth's final soliloquy with pathos and regret.

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Whingeing and the pursuit of happiness

Playwright David Williamson has probed aspects of Australia's social conscience since the 1960s. See him and actors Mark Lee and Anne Tenney discussing issues raised in the 2012 production of his play 'Happiness'.

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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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'The Tempest': two sides of Caliban

Caliban is one of Shakespeare's most fascinating characters. Half human and the son of a witch, Caliban attacks Prospero's daughter Miranda. However, he is not without a sympathetic side. In this scene from Act 1.2 of 'The Tempest', with Miranda Tapsell, John Bell and Damien Strouthos of Bell Shakespeare, Caliban's impassioned ...

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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 ...