SHAKESPEARE: John Bell AO OBE in conversation with Professor Simon Haines

Nov 7, 2019 | Announcements

What was your first experience of a Shakespeare play? A struggle in a school classroom? An inspiring teacher? A revelation at a theatre?

For many living Australians, their first experience of Shakespeare on stage would have been thanks to John Bell AO OBE, actor, theatre director, founder of Bell Shakespeare, and guest of the Ramsay Centre for our eighth and final Ramsay Lecture for 2019.

John Bell will be interviewed on 19 November by Ramsay Centre CEO Professor Simon Haines, who has introduced many students to Shakespeare through his university teaching career.

“It is a great privilege for the Centre to host John Bell,” Professor Haines said. “Shakespeare’s works are given ‘great books’ status because there is no other gallery of lives created out of language quite like this one. And no one has done more to ensure Australians have exposure to that richness of experience than John Bell.”

John Bell founded The Bell Shakespeare Company in 1990 where he served as Director until 2015. His productions include more than 15 of Shakespeare’s greatest works, which have been played to almost 2.5 million Australians. He is one of the nation’s most illustrious theatre personalities, an award-winning actor, acclaimed director, “torch-bearing educationalist and speaker on leadership.” He has an honorary doctorate of Letters from the University of Sydney, New South Wales and Newcastle; and is one of Australia’s official ‘living treasures’.

Professor Simon Haines is the editor of Shakespeare and Value, recently published in Routledge’s authoritative Shakespeare International Yearbook series. He has published a number of articles and given many talks and addresses on Shakespeare. For seven years he ran the Chinese Universities Shakespeare Festival in Hong Kong, with up to fifty teams competing from mainland China and Hong Kong. He has taught Shakespeare in universities for many years.

The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation was created with an endowment from the late Paul Ramsay AO, founder of Ramsay Health Care, to promote a deeper understanding of western civilisation. The Ramsay Lecture series hosts speakers from all walks of life who have important and interesting perspectives relating to the world and our western heritage.

Printed versions of the lectures and video podcasts are available via the ‘News and Events’ section of our website:

Media contact: Sarah Switzer 0407 816 098

Please note the John Bell event is fully subscribed.