Upcoming Events

Wellington Shakespeare Society Upcoming Events

The Wellington Shakespeare Society meets at 7:30pm  on the first Thursday of each month to relish the works of Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s plays are read and analysed. Guest speakers present lectures. Activities include: Shakespeare play readings, annual video/DVD evening, lectures and talks

Our regular meeting space is Connolly Hall, Guildford Terrace (off Hill Street), Thorndon

New members of all ages are welcome.

Wellington Shakespeare Society programme for 2020 will be updated when dates are confirmed

Enquiries to Robert Gordon (Memberships) M: 021 395 896 or Brian Pearl 04 479 3983

WSS Membership Form


Past Events

Shakespeare in the Garden 2019

Garage Project, Shakespeare Globe Centre NZ, The Improvisors & Southern Cross Garden Bar Restaurant joined forces in November to bring another fundraiser with a difference.

The event began with live music by Coral Trimmer and Gilbert Haisman. The Improvisors performed Shakespearean drama as you’ve never seen it before and may never see it again – the scenes, the soliloquies, the sonnets that the Bard would have written – if only he’d had more time. Their team of talented performers made it all up on the spot, drawing on audience ideas and suggestions.

In honour of the event, Garage Project treated us to a special charity batch of Full Fathom Five: an original English IPA with a brave new world twist. This beer was first brewed in 2017 specially for Shakespeare in the Garden. Full proceeds from the keg went directly to SGCNZ. To complete the festivities, a traditional roast dinner was available from The Southern Cross kitchen.


ShakesBeer in the Garden 2018

PlayShop whipped up a storm at Southern Cross Garden Bar Restaurant on Sunday the 25th of November, presenting an improv performance loosely based on The Tempest.

PlayShop brings you Shakespeare like you’ve never seen it, even if you came last year. From the best improvisors at this event, either for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastrol-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, or poem unlimited, an entirely new tempestuous Shakespeare play created before your very eyes. We are such improvisors as new plays are made (up) on (the spot), and our little plays are rounded with a jig.

To complement it, Garage Project re-produced the appropriately named Full Fathom Five. There was music to begin the event, and a themed traditional roast dinner available throughout the event.

PlayShop comprises largely of SGCNZ Alumni. The staff at The Southern Cross dressed in Shakespearean costumes, as did the staff and interns of SGCNZ, all making for a delightful, bubbly, colourful experience.


The Eternal Woman of William Shakespeare by Rhona Davis MBE

Delighted to be part of the inaugural New Zealand Theatre Month, Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand (SGCNZ) and Wellington Shakespeare Society (WSS)  staged a reading of The Eternal Woman of William Shakespeare, first written and performed some 40 years ago. Its relevance to this 125th Suffrage year did not go unnoticed either.

Cue-script staged readings of The Eternal Woman of William Shakespeare by Rhona Davis MBE were held on 13 September 2018 at 88 The Terrace and 25 September at The Hannah Playhouse Bar, Cambridge Terrace.


ShakesBeer in the Garden 2017

In November 2017 Southern Cross Garden Bar Restaurant, PlayShop, Garage Project and Shakespeare Globe Centre NZ joined forces once again to present a fundraiser with a difference.

PlayShop performed Shakespeare like you’ve never seen it before: from the best improvisors, either for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastrol-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, or poem unlimited, an entirely new Shakespeare play was created before the audience’s eyes.

In honour of the event, Garage Project treated us to a delicious new English style IPA, created specially for the occasion and served from nitrogen charged cans: an old classic with a brave new world twist. To complete the festivities, a traditional roast dinner was served in the Garden Bar at the interval.


Shakespearean Conspiracies

Shakespeare’s compass of the human condition is unrivalled, and includes the darkest as well as the brightest parts of the soul. On the 2nd of November 2017, the Midsummer Night Players presented excerpts from three of the Bard’s dramas – Richard III, Julius Caesar and Macbeth – illustrating the different facets of the evolution of evil and bloodshed at Connolly Hall in Thorndon. An hour of high drama, high poetry and the anatomy of conspiratorial murder.

A forum after the performance was chaired by SGCNZ Alumni Maddie Brooks-Gillespie and Zoe Hancox-Monk.

The Midsummer Night Players:
– Michaeljohn Butcher
– Emanuel E. Garcia (also Director)
– Tom Martin
– Julia Maria Seemann


BEN CRYSTAL EVENTS 2017 ~ coordinated by SGCNZ

Ben Crystal is a UK Actor/Writer/Producer who, with his father, David, has specialised in Original Pronunciation of Shakespeare. In 2011 he performed the title role in the world contemporary premier of Hamlet in OP, and in 2012 he was the curator and creative director on a CD of Shakespeare in Original Pronunciation for the British Library. In 2017 SGCNZ brought Ben to New Zealand for an extraordinary tour of talks and performances.

Download all information about talks here.


Crystal Clear Shakespeare

Presented by Ben Crystal  with SGCNZ Alumni in Circa Two

Wednesday 31 May – Saturday 3 June 7:30pm 2017

What did Shakespeare’s plays sound like in his day? How did those couplets rhyme?

UK actor, prolific author and presenter of Original Pronunciation (OP), Ben Crystal worked with a troupe of renowned SGCNZ Alumni, exploring the fascinating original sound of Shakespeare’s plays. They perform a Shakespeare Showcase of famous scenes, sonnets, songs, speeches and soliloquies in OP, readings full of rhyme, rhythm, and a very subtle humour. And a not-so-subtle one too.

Ben is a producer and artistic director of Passion in Practice and its Shakespeare Ensemble.


Pop-Up Shakespeare at the Wellington Central Library

slal-pop-up-shakespeare-current

Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand organised for actors from local theatre groups to come in to Wellington Central Library once a month to perform scenes from famous plays throughout 2016.  Audience members were encouraged to channel their inner actor. The improvised performances and the casual style of the event made it fun for all participants, no matter whether they watched or acted as well. Printed scripts, hair pieces and other props were available to help first-time and professional thespians to feel their part.

The plays were performed scenes from selected plays, with four plays per event, in roughly chronological order. Thus, the whole canon was performed throughout the whole year.

May 21: Henry VI, Richard III, The Taming of the shrew, The Two Gentlemen of Verona

June 25: Love’s Labour’s Lost, Richard II, Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
July 23: The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry IV, parts 1 & 2

August 20: Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It
September 17: Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Troilus & Cressida, All’s Well That Ends Well
October 15: Measure For Measure, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth
November 12: Antony & Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Timon of Athens, Pericles, The Two Noble Kinsmen
December 10: Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest, Henry VIII, Cardenio


Shakespeare Dreams in the Cross Garden – Bottoms Up!

Bottom playing up in the Southern Gross Garden Bar was just part of the hilarity in store for audience attending Shakespeare Dreams in the Cross Garden – Bottoms Up! on 20 November 2016.southern-cross

With a fun adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, actors from Playshop, directed by Lori Leigh, interacted with all to ensure it was a lively and memorable evening away from the pre-Christmas melee.

Once again, the Southern Cross Garden Bar generously collaborated with The Garage Project, Playshop and Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand (SGCNZ) to present a fundraiser with a difference for SGCNZ towards its activities.

garage-projectThe entertainment began at 4.30pm with Daisy van Wel singing till 5.15pm when the play started. The performance by the cast of dynamic young actors, most of whom are SGCNZ Alumni, was quick-witted, clever and entertaining.

Garage Project treated us to a delicious new brew made especially for the event, which was poured from oak barrels and to accompany the ale there was a traditional roast dinner available for purchase in the Garden Bar at the interval.

It was an evening full of ferocious fun, festive food and fabulous fermented fluids.


Read Alive Series

Read Alive October

Read Alive, a  programme of staged readings, challenged emerging directors to breathe life into rarely performed plays from the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods – in a single day. Actors arrived at 10am, were given their scripts, and worked on them for less than 6 hours before a public staged reading at 4:30pm. The programme took its inspiration from the highly successful Read Not Dead sessions at Shakespeare’s Globe in London and was hosted by The Lord Lackbeards Touring Company and SGCNZ, with funding from the Emerging Artists’ Trust.

Read Alive: The Knight of the Burning Pestle

October’s Read Alive was The Knight of the Burning Pestle directed by Lyndon Hood. An early modern classic, the play satirizes chivalric romances and talks directly to the audience from the very start.

Read Alive: Dr. Faustus

The September Read Alive was Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe. This session was co-directed by Cordelia Black and Brandon Mikel.

Written by Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare’s contemporary and rival, Dr. Faustus follows the adventures and philosophical musings of Dr. Faustus and his devil Mephistophilis.


Shakespeare Globe Centre NZ gratefully acknowledges the support of the following:

 

southern-cross    garage-project