Bell Shakespeare announces series of debates in celebration of 30th Anniversary

Livestreamed from around the country, high-profile Australians will debate direct Shakespeare quotes.

Bell Shakespeare today announced a series of debates to take place around the country and available virtually to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary year. The Bell Debates will bring together high-profile Australians from a range of industries to debate direct quotes from Shakespeare, addressing and tackling ideas from his plays in the context of our modern world. The first debate on Thursday 24 September will be live-streamed at 7.30 pm from Sydney’s Carriageworks via Bell Shakespeare’s website on a ‘pay what you feel’ basis.

Jan Fran, Benjamin Law (image: Daniel Francisco Robles) and Peter Fitzsimons AM

With two teams of three debating for and against, the debates will provide a forum to demonstrate the enduring relevance of Shakespeare’s ideas and his unique ability to provoke thought and discussion about the human experience. The first debate will focus on the line “We have seen better days” from As You Like It, a particularly relevant idea to discuss in light of the current situation. Debaters will include team captains Benjamin Law and Jane Caro AM alongside Jess Scully, Jan Fran and Peter Fitzsimons AM. The event will be moderated by Bell Shakespeare Board Member Rebecca Huntley, one of Australia’s foremost social researchers, and hosted by Artistic Director Peter Evans.

Peter Evans, Artistic Director of Bell Shakespeare, said;

While we haven’t been able to celebrate our 30th anniversary as planned this year, it has allowed us to think of new ways to engage our audiences and revisit programs from our archive, like our successful debates from the 90’s. We’re delighted to launch this new series to keep Shakespeare and his endlessly relevant words in the forefront of our minds, as profound today as they were 400 years ago.

Subsequent debates will take place in Canberra at the National Portrait Gallery on 12 November and in Melbourne on a date to be determined, provided they are permitted to do so in line with updated health guidelines. Bell Shakespeare is closely monitoring current government health and safety guidelines and will announce further details in due course taking these into account.

Peter J Snee

Peter is a British born creative, working in the live entertainment industry. He holds an honours degree in Performing Arts and has over 12 years combined work experience in producing, directing and managing artistic programs & events. Peter has traversed the UK, Europe and Australia pursuing his interest in theatre. He is inspired by great stories and passionately driven by pursuing opportunities to tell them.

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