The Delighted Spirit: Shakespeare at UQ (events running until November 2016)

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, arguably the most famous name in English literature. Ready to usher in this literary milestone, the University of Queensland has put together an impressive line-up of events. These include public lectures, symposiums, film screenings, and of course, theatrical performances, all aimed at celebrating the incredible oeuvre of a glove-maker’s son.

With events running right through until November, here’s a quick guide to some of the highlights.

  1. Twelfth Night, presented by Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble
    (24th August – 9th September, Roma St Parkland Amphitheatre)The QSE are, naturally, heavily involved in the programme, and their performance of Twelfth Night is set to be something special. The majority of performances will be taking place at the Roma St Parkland Amphitheatre, the theatrical home of the QSE, so wrap up warm if you’re planning on attending!
    Tickets will be available soon.

2. Shakespeare on Screen, GOMA, South Brisbane
(22nd April – 25th May 2016) Brisbane icon QAGOMA presents another one of its fantastic cinema programs, celebrating the many on screen adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays.
From Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet and Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing,  to the classic Laurence Olivier performance in Henry V, the program is as varied and eclectic as the bard’s own work.
And the best part? It’s all FREE!
Check out the full lineup at the QAGOMA website.

3. Shakespeare’s Romans, University of Queensland, St Lucia campus.
(5th June)Combining a silent film screening with live musical accompaniment with a lecture from prominent UQ scholars Professor Alastair Blanshard and Dr Shushma Malik, this one off event looks at how Shakespeare’s versions of Julius Caesar, Marc Antony, and Cleopatra (to name just a few of his Ancient Rome related leads) have ensured their eternal fame, as well as a few (hopefully less eternal) historical misconceptions.
Entry is free, though guests are required to RSVP.

4. Shakespeare’s Shorts, presented by the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble
(23rd/24th April) Hitting up the Davies Park Markets in West End on theSaturday, and The Gap Farmers’ Market on the Sunday, the QSE offer up their fast and funny (and free!) versions of some of Shakespeare’s most famous tales.
Catch Midsummer’s Mechanicals and The Half-Hour Hamlet at West End, and Instant Romeo & Juliet at The Gap – and maybe stock up on some excellent local produce between performances.

5. ‘My Library Was Dukedom Large Enough’, Rare Book Exhibition, Fryer Library, University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus
(2nd – 31st May) Showcasing Shakespeare-related artefacts from the Fryer Library’s impressive collection, expect to see volumes dating back to the 16th century alongside more recent Queensland focused documents. The exhibition is both an exploration of Shakespeare’s enduring popularity, as well as a chance to see some real treasures from the Fryer archives!
Entry is free.


The Delighted Spirit is a year long celebration of the work of William Shakespeare, with events occurring across Brisbane from mid-April until late November.
Access the full programme at the University of Queensland website.

Featured image from the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty website.
Artwork: Pinckney Marcius-Simons (USA, 1867-1909)
Watercolour illustrations painted onto the pages of an 1886 French edition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, translated by Paul Meurice. 1908.
Courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library.


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Jodie Sloan

Living, writing, and reading in Brisbane/Meanjin. Likes spooky books, strong cocktails, and pro-wrestling.