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Playing The Bard: This Wooden 'O' (Shakespeare)

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Event description

A night of bite-sized Shakespeare, performed by the Playing The Bard ensemble of actors, adapted and directed by award-winning actor/director, Sally McLean, Creator/Director of the critically acclaimed Shakespeare Republic.

Come with us inside the exclusive gated community - This Wooden 'O'. Meet Macbeth as a female junior corporate lawyer, Leonato (Much Ado About Nothing) as your favourite glamorous aunt, Adrianna (The Comedy of Errors) as an Instagram star and heiress to a large hotel chain, Bernado and Marcellus (Hamlet) as Youtube ghost hunters and Titania and Oberon (A Midsummer Night's Dream) as global influencers keeping up appearances in front of the paparazzi. Just a few examples of the Shakespeare characters you will spend the evening with who have been re-imagined into the 21st Century. This is definitely Shakespeare with a difference!

Join us for this workshop presentation of this intensive Shakespeare experiment and experience this unique night of the Bard which has been created over an intensive weekend of rehearsal just two days before opening as part of the "Playing The Bard: This Wooden O" course - live and in person.


Kasia Mravljak, Laura Sutton, Dylan Woods, Kim Ko, Tim Constantine, Heather Allardyce, Holly Robertson, William Hassall, Claudia Piggott, Sarah Hamilton, Jennifer Piper, Phoebe Anne Taylor, Sally McLean

Building on the principals of her multi-award winning series Shakespeare Republic, (most recently winning "Best Director" and "Best Dramatic Series" at the 2019 Côte d’Azur WebFest, part of the Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes program at the Cannes Film Festival), Director/Writer, Sally McLean has brought another group of Shakespeare's characters into the modern world, this time as a live theatre show, working with the students from "Playing The Bard: This Wooden O" Advanced Shakespeare class at Howard Fine Acting Studio, Melbourne.

Above: Shakespeare Republic (Season Two) Teaser

Playing The Bard is a series of courses taught by Sally McLean, based on her work with Shakespeare as an actor, writer and director. The Shakespeare Republic universe includes two seasons of the award-winning web series, starring Alan Fletcher, Nadine Garner, Michala Banas, Dean Haglund, Sally McLean, Ben Steel and Christopher Kirby, among others and the 2017 Shakespeare short film Speaking Daggers, starring Nadine Garner, Michala Banas, Scott Major, Christopher Kirby, Sally McLean, Billy Smedley, Faran Martin and Jaron Natoli. 

In 2020, the universe will expand to include the mini-series Dark Arcadia (currently in pre-production) and the third season of the main web series: Shakespeare Republic: #GodsAndMonsters.

Above: Speaking Daggers Trailer


“… polished, beautifully made series from director/producer Sally McLean … a fine use of the platform and, more importantly, a very fine adaptation of the Bard … Shakespeare Republic is put together with grace and wit. An assortment of actors do terrific work making the (non-dumbed down) dialogue accessible, prying it open with great care and skill.” - THE GUARDIAN

“… taking the world by storm, done in an inventive, captivating way … the entire series is astonishingly smart.” - STAREABLE.COM

“… beautifully produced soliloquies from Shakespeare’s most famous characters, interpreted by a wide range of talented actors.” - SHAKESPEARE TWENTYSCORE

See all reviews here.

For more information about the Shakespeare Republic universe, visit

For more information about the Howard Fine Acting Studio Melbourne, visit

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