Posted by: Dorothea Preis   in News

Have you been lately to the Rocks?  I was there last Saturday.  As I had some time to spare before the general meeting of the NSW Branch, I had a short look around the Rocks Market.  And came across this big wooden windmill, which as far as I could remember I had not seen before.

Today, all was revealed when we received an email from Amber from The Nest in Surry Hills, who are partnering with the Sydney Foreshore Authority to work on their project, The Rocks Windmill.  The windmill opened on 12 April and will run to 12 May and promises a month of workshops, performance, film, music and more.

As part of the project, Bell Shakespeare is offering workshops during the school holidays, but also – and of more interest to us – an evening event, Theatre in The Rocks: Then and Now.  This includes scenes from Henry IV and Nicholas Rowe’s The Tragedy of Jane Shore.

Incidentally, the latter is one of the first plays ever performed in Sydney.  The earliest surviving document from Sydney’s first printing press is advertising the performance of this play at the Sydney Theatre on 30 July 1797 (9 years after the arrival of the first fleet).*

The idea behind this performance is to promote “the relevance of Shakespeare’s work to new audiences, understanding that his work was never meant to be a static representations of the time in which they were written.”

And by the way, I do enjoy Shakespeare plays, even if I copped quite some disbelief on social media when I revealed that I watched his Richard III.  Shakespeare’s plays are great on stage, that’s what they have always been intended for not for the non-fiction history shelves of a library.

Sounds like an interesting idea and well worth a trip into the Rocks area of Sydney.

More details here.

* Elizabeth Webby, ‘The beginnings of literature in colonial Australia’, in:  The Cambridge History of Australian Literature, edited by Peter Pierce, Cambridge University Press, 2009, p.34

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