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Shakespeare shines at The University of Auckland

Shakespeare shines at The University of Auckland

Sex, murder, passion, envy, greed, humour, pathos…William Shakespeare wrote it all. For four centuries, his plays and poetry have captured the imagination of students, scholars, spectators and screenwriters alike. How did he do it? Why did he do it? Did he do it?

These questions and more will be explored during The University of Auckland's Shakespeare in Winter lecture series (July 26-August 30), presented by the Department of English. Overlapping with the series is the Auckland Theatre Company's performance of Twelfth Night at the Maidment Theatre (July 13-August 5). Twelfth Night will be directed by acclaimed New Zealand Arts Laureate Michael Hurst, O.N.Z.M., who will speak on Inventing Shakespeare during the lecture series.

Other speakers include well-known international authorities on Shakespeare. Professor Dympna Callaghan (University of Syracuse, NY), the University of Auckland's 2006 Alice Griffin Fellow, will explore whether art imitates life or vice versa in Hamlet and The Comedy of Errors. Professor David Schalkwyk (University of Capetown, SA) will discuss friendship, love and service in Twelfth Night.

University of Auckland staff will also contribute strongly to the series. Professor Emeritus Mac Jackson will tackle the tangled question of authorship (was Shakespeare really Shakespeare?). Professor Michael Neill will examine issues of nakedness, shame, and the deconsecration of kingship in King Lear. And the University's newest Shakespeare expert, Professor Tom Bishop, will give his inaugural lecture on game-playing and competitiveness among actors in Shakespeare's plays.

"One of the acknowledged strengths of the University is its work on Shakespeare," says the Head of the English Department Associate Professor Peter Simpson. "We are proud to share our knowledge with the many Shakespeare lovers on campus and within the wider community. We're bringing together an outstanding group of experts whose lectures will be both illuminating and entertaining."

The schedule for Shakespeare in Winter follows:

26 July: Professor David Schalkwyk, University of Capetown; "Friendship, love and service in Twelfth Night"

2 August: Michael Hurst, O.N.Z.M., New Zealand Arts Laureate; Director of Twelfth Night, Auckland Theatre Company "Inventing Shakespeare"

9 August Professor Dympna Callaghan,University of Syracuse, NY;The 2006 Alice Griffin Shakespeare Lecture, "Art and life in The Comedy of Errors and Hamlet"

16 August Professor Michael Neill, The University of Auckland; "'The little dogs and all': Ceremony, Nakedness, and Shame and the Deconsecration of Kingship in King Lear"

23 August Professor Tom Bishop, The University of Auckland, "'Someone hides from someone': Shakespeare's Theatre Games"; Inaugural Lecture, The University of Auckland

(all at 6:30pm, Fale Pasfika, 20 Wynyard Street, The University of Auckland)

30 August Professor Emeritus Mac Jackson, The University of Auckland, "Was Shakespeare Shakespeare? Reflections on the authorship controversy"

(6:30pm, Old Government House Lecture Theatre, The University of Auckland)


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