Bell Shakespeare Announce 2016 Program

8 September 2015 | 8:00 pm | Staff Writer

Star-crossed lovers, a revenge play and Moliére

The first Bell Shakespeare program under the sole Artistic Directorship of Peter Evans (up until 2016, the company has been overseen by co-ADs Evans and founder John Bell) has been announced tonight.

"It's with much anticipation that I take up the mantle of Artistic Director for Bell Shakespeare, and all that entails. I look forward to taking audiences of all ages, from all corners of Australia on a journey through Shakespeare's timeless world with us," said Evans.

Opening 2016 will be Romeo And Juliet, starring Kelly Paterniti (As You Like It) and television actor Alex Williams (Underground: The Julian Assange Story) in the lead roles. The production, which Evans will direct, tours to Canberra and Melbourne in April.

Evans' production of Othello will open in Melbourne in July, featuring Ray Nee Chong (The Dream) as Othello, and Yalin Ozucelik (Henry IV)as Iago, before embarking on a national tour, including Canberra and Sydney mainstage dates in October.

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A free In Conversation session with the director and a number of the cast and creative team will be offered in conjunction with the Romeo And Juliet and Othello seasons.

As announced last week, Bell Shakespeare will pair with Griffin Theatre Company on The Literati, a new adaptation of Moliére's Les Femme Savants, by Justin Fleming, with Griffin AD Lee Lewis at the helm, and Kate Mulvany as the lead.

Bell Shakespeare's learning programme continues in 2016, and includes the Actors At Work tour, where a team of eight actors performing 50-minute abridged works to students in metropolitan and regional schools; an in-theatre production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by James Evans, in Sydney, Melbourne and, for the first time, Perth; and masterclass, mentorship, workshop and residency opportunities for students and teachers.