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The Melbourne Shakespeare Society is one of the oldest literary societies in Australia, having been in continuous existence since 1884. It has an active program which includes monthly meetings.
The venue is the St Francis Pastoral Centre, at the corner of Elizabeth and Little Lonsdale Streets, Melbourne, in the Monastery Hall or other meeting rooms at the Centre.
General Meetings are usually held on the fourth Saturday of each even-numbered month. They feature an invited main speaker, often from the arts or academia, or sometimes a Society member speaks on one of their special interests. The talks may be illustrated by short prepared readings by members. As well, meetings may include musical items, book reports, sonnet readings and reports of Shakespearean related events.
Play Readings - The Society's Reading Group performs Readings of the complete plays of William Shakespeare on the fourth Saturday of each odd-numbered month (excluding January). This year readings are based on the theme of amour fou or mad desire. Rehearsals for the readings are held on the first Saturday of the month, at various locations.
Associated Readings of works which illuminate the Shakespearean Canon are interspersed with the Shakespeare plays throughout the year. These include Shakespeare's poems (eg The Rape of Lucrece), plays by his contemporaries (eg The Massacre at Paris by Christopher Marlowe), classical drama (eg Menaechmi by Plautus), and modern plays for which Shakespeare is an essential reference point (eg Macbett by Eugene Ionesco).
The Society publishes a Newsletter, The Melbourne Shakespearean, with articles, poetry, reviews and reports of Shakespearean interest, which is available free to members and for sale to others.
There are very modest attendance fees at meetings and readings ($7, which includes refreshments), and guests and new members are always welcome. For further information, contact the President (Dr Peter Groves, on Peter.Groves@monash.edu or 0414 795 923) or any others listed in the Contacts.
Follow us on Facebook, for news of upcoming events and items of interest on Shakespeare.

For an exciting new production of Coriolanus by the Hartwell Players, now entended to 19 October, click here.
Please note that the run of this production has been extended until 19 October. For tickets call 0422 010 839 or visit here.
Items of Note

Rules of Association are available for the convenience of those members who want access to them.


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  Updated 6 October,2019