What began as a screen-only project has now expanded to include a live show component of the work, which we are excited to further explore in the future and are actively looking for further opportunities to present the work in this live show format.
The first live performance of Shakespeare’s works by the Republic ensemble took place in 2016 in the style of promenade theatre, to celebrate the launch of Season Two of the series, where the entire two levels of the Courthouse Hotel in North Melbourne were turned into a Shakespeare wonderland for one night only.
The cast for this once-off show included: Michala Banas, Christopher Kirby, Sally McLean, Billy Smedley, Shane Savage, Phoebe Anne Taylor, Falon Ryan, Perri Cummings, Stephen Costan and Wahibe Moussa.
We are always open to the idea of remounting this show and are happy to hear from anyone who is interested in having us bring the show to their area. We are especially interested in regional cities with interesting venues that can be utilised in this style of performance. Check out our About, Video and Photo pages to see how the first show was staged and then reach out to us via our Contact page if you’d like to discuss us bringing the show to your area.
WHAT DOES THE SHOW ENTAIL?
SOME THEATRE, A LITTLE BIT OF MAGIC & LOTS OF SHAKESPEARE!
First thing on arrival, the audience received a map of the venue, showing them where to find each actor in performance.
Then, the magic began.
Following their maps, the audience wandered around the two levels of venue, inside and outside,
to find each of our cast members performing monologues live. The cast were all in their own worlds,
some invited the audience in, some just invited them to listen and watch, all performed Shakespeare.
The audience were encouraged to take their time, revisit their favourites, view each piece from
different angles, take photos and videos and share via all social media platforms – there was plenty of
time to soak up all the poetry and performance as each actor performed on a loop for the entire 90
minutes, giving the audience ample time to experience the Bard up close and personal
as they moved from room to room.
Playing to a sold out house with over 200 individual photo and video shares on social media by the
audience during the 90 minute program, we were thrilled with the success of this first live show and
so grateful to all our fabulous audience for joining in the spirit of the work so wholeheartedly.
WHAT IS SHAKESPEARE REPUBLIC ALL ABOUT?
Shakespeare Republic is a web series that celebrates not just the world’s greatest playwright, but also his insightful understanding of the big issues of his time. Insights that still hold relevance today and form the basis for a truly diverse, inventive and epic journey into the nature of being human.
Built on the premise of taking a selection of Shakespeare monologues and making them more accessible to modern audiences by setting each piece in a contemporary situation, our first season in 2015 included Hamlet as Media Advisor to a Government Minister, Juliet as a gay man in a Skype conversation, Phebe as an entitled Gen Y drunk texting, Macbeth as a politician about to metaphorically knife an opponent, a female Hamlet weary from the corporate cut and thrust and a performance of Sonnet 18 as a eulogy.
Now, in 2016 the team is returning to the screen for Season Two - with more actors, more crew and more Shakespeare!
Brainchild of award-winning Director/Producer, Sally McLean and filmed by award-winning Cinematographer, Shaun Herbertson, with a highly experienced crew with a combined total of over 170 professional credits to their names, Season Two is an innovative and exciting ride through the works of William Shakespeare, featuring an international cast and a lot of love for the Bard.
Get to know some more about Shakespeare Republic, meet the Season One cast and hear about the idea behind Shakespeare Republic by watching the above video.
Hear from Season One cast Michala Banas, Alan Fletcher, Rowena Hutson, Billy Smedley, Ben Steel & Sally McLean about their first encounter with Shakespeare by watching the above video.
Our mission statement is:
TO ENGAGE NEW AUDIENCES
with Shakespeare’s works through the use of “bite-sized” pieces of text, that reduce the anxiety many feel
around attending a full Shakespeare play, thereby introducing new audiences to the work who might not otherwise engage;
TO EDUCATE AND ENTERTAIN MODERN AUDIENCES ABOUT THEIR WORLD
using Elizabethan and Jacobean Theatre text; and
CHALLENGE THE CONCEPT OF “TRADITIONAL” SHAKESPEARE,
while still remaining true to his original text and ideas.
For more information about the series, click here.