Over the past couple of months I’ve been to three Shakespeare shows in public parks around south-east Queensland. Spring has sprung and it seems we can’t wait to get out and enjoy the best weather the new season has to offer in tandem with some of the works of our favourite playwright.
The first of the three was the annual Brisbane Shakespeare Festival’s Shakespeare (BSF) on Oxford and, since last year, by the lagoon at Sandgate. The BSF is a week-long romp which is now entering its 5th year. The production – this year BSF presented Twelfth Night – is one part and, arguably, the centrepiece of a whole range of Shakespearean-related activities. The organisers are clearly feeling confident about the continuation of the Brisbane Shakespeare Festival, and have called for ideas for the 2012 festival on Twitter.
My second outdoor Shakespeare production this season was the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble‘s (QSE) production of The Merchant of Venice in Brisbane’s Roma Street Parklands. This was for a very small audience indeed – probably 100 or so at a time. This close proximity of audience to actors enabled a more intimate experience of text in action than did the spectacle of BSF and USQ. The QSE also put the audience under the rotunda and away from any nasty rain that could spoil things as it did for the third company, USQ’s Shakespeare in the Park Festival. Continue reading Shakespeare in the open air – a tale of three festivals