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 live show work again in unconventional theatrical settings.
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 one-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.
So, what did that performance 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 and take photos and videos and share them via all social media platforms during the show. 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’s work 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.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS FOR THE FIRST LIVE NIGHT
We were so glad to have fellow Season Two cast members, Alan Fletcher and Nadine Garner, also in attendance for the early part of the night, before heading off to other commitments, not least because we finally got a group photo of our Season Two cast (minus Tariro and Dean, sadly, but still 11 out of 13 cast is not a bad effort!).
Huge thanks to Paul Anthony Nelson for his wonderful camera work and for giving his time and support to the event. Also to Caitlin O’Connor for her fabulous photos. Marg Woodlock-McLean for her efficient Production Management of the night and Jack Wilkinson for his fantastic Stage Management (and for stepping in on very short notice to help us out!). Huge thanks also to Sally Campbell, Sarah Clarke and Immogen O’Connor for their work behind the scenes and in front of house. To Lore Burns for their beautiful cello playing at the start of the night and to our fantastic cast for stepping up and trying something new with minimal prep time, but a whole lot of talent and flexibility!
Finally massive thanks to our sponsors for the first live show event – Andrew and Jack from Mr Moto, who have been truly brilliant to work with on the promotion of the series and the wonderful Jason and Julie at The Courthouse Hotel, who sponsored the launch night and took such great care of us and all our guests. The food was to die for and everyone had a fabulous time in their wonderful venue.
WILL YOU BE PERFORMING THIS SHOW AGAIN?
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. Reach out to us via our Contact page if you’d like to discuss us bringing the show to your area.
We promise to deliver the following:
Fun. So much fun.
Stuff that makes you think. A lot.
Stuff that makes you laugh. Hopefully also a lot.
Stuff that might make you a little sad.
Stuff that we hope will lift you up, inspire you and make you feel all the wonder and contrariness of being human.