Thursday, July 26, 2012

And now for something a little different...

So far this year we've read and studied just one play - The Comedy of Errors, which was great fun. We read it over the May and June meetings. When we met in July, we had our first guest speaker for the year, Grant Malcolm, well-known around Perth for his productions of the bard's works - notably for the GRADS company at the University of Western Australia.

Only a few months ago, Grant directed Love's Labours Lost for this company. He shared some of his modus operandi with us - how he chooses plays and what factors come into play in doing so, and he also spoke of the difficulties of presenting Shakespeare in countries where English is not the native tongue. He was once involved in directing a translation of Love's Labours Lost in Afghanistan, and his experiences were both entertaining and thought-provoking, leading to a discusssion of the difficulties inherent in adapting any work of art for another medium, language or culture.

Next month we are going to essay a non-Shakespearean work, Dr Faustus by Christopher Marlowe. Contemporary with Shakespeare, Marlow died tragically young, yet he had already influenced other playwrights of the day, including Shakespeare.

The Perth Shakeseare Club's original mission statement, created over eight decades ago, mentions the study and possible production of plays by other authors, so although this venture into Marlowe's oeuvre is a new experience for the current membership, it is not a new one for the club. Sadly, I will not be in town for our next meeting on 19 August, but I'll look forward to hearing the second half of the play read at our September meeting.


  1. I saw an article recently about Reading Shakespeare but, unfortunately have not been able to find it again. I believe it was in a local newspaper - would this be your group? I would like to know more about this and would appreciate more information. Beverley Gibbs.

  2. Hi Beverley,

    AFAIK, our group is the only one in Perth, and yes, there was recently a nice piece on us in a local paper, with a picture of our president, Frances, and Elaine, a committee member.

    We meet at the State Library of Western Australia on the third Saturday of each month, starting at 2.00PM. We read plays - mostly Shakespeare but occasionally we read a work by one of his contemporaries. (Later this year, forex, we are going to read Volpone.) One person volunteers to be playleader, and s/he chooses the people to read the various parts. We take two meetings to read each play and discuss it. Occasionally we have a guest speaker or a movie instead of a reading.

    You are more than welcome to come along and have a listen the first time. Just turn up! Membership is very cheap - $20 per year plus $5 at each meeting attende if you decide to join. We often adjourn to the coffee shop after a meeting but that's not compulsory. :-)