What exactly is it about Shakespeare? Why is he still performed all over the world and not by any means only in English speaking countries? He’s known and loved. Why has he lasted? Why does he still speak to us so powerfully? John Bell worked with all the great English Shakespearian actors and directors of the later 60s and in the 70s, with Peter Hall, with John Barton, with Trevor Nunn, with Peter Brook, Paul Scofield, the Ian Holm, Glenda Jackson and many others. What were the standout productions and performances from that era? John Bell will discuss the lessons he carried away to use in his career as a director and actor from that period? Who were his key mentors or models and what was the epiphany or the moment when he decided that this was the career for him?
John Bell AO OBE
John Bell AO OBE has been a major influence on the development of Australian theatre in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He is one of the nation’s most illustrious theatre personalities. Award-winning actor, acclaimed director, risk-taking impresario, torch-bearing educationalist and speaker on leadership; John has been a key figure in shaping the nation’s theatrical identity as we know it over the past 50 years.
John founded The Bell Shakespeare Company in 1990 where he served as Director until 2015. His productions include over 15 of Shakespeare’s greatest works, which have been played to almost 2.5 million Australians.
John Bell has received recognition from many bodies for his leadership and significant contributions to national culture. He is an Officer of the Order of Australia and the Order of the British Empire; has an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the Universities of Sydney, New South Wales and Newcastle; and was recognised in 1997 by the National Trust of Australia as one of Australia’s Living Treasures.