Shakespeare at the Globe for our UK-based Ramsay Scholars

Dec 14, 2022 | Announcements, News & Media, PG News

14 December 2022: Our UK-based Ramsay Scholars recently met at Shakespeare’s Globe to attend a production of Henry V. Shakespeare’s Globe is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, an Elizabethan playhouse for which William Shakespeare wrote his plays, in the London Borough of Southwark, on the south bank of the River Thames.

2021 Ramsay Postgraduate Scholar Jack Hume is pursuing a PhD at University College London. In his PhD he is developing a justification for government funding of the arts in the face of scarce resources and competing needs. In the future Jack would like to work across philosophy and public policy and to use his research to help drive changes that make the arts more accessible to all Australians.

Jack wrote this reflection on the gathering:

“On the 26th of November, Ramsay scholars met at Shakespeare’s Globe to attend a production of Henry V. The play famously depicts the Battle of Agincourt (1415) – a key English victory in the Hundred Years’ War between England and France. Many of us arrived with a self-confessed lack of familiarity with this specific play. But we took solace in the fact this was how Shakespeare’s audiences, in the 1600s, usually would have encountered this and other works at the Globe.  

We soon learned that Shakespeare’s Henry V was a timeless study of war and power, and the psychological trials of leadership. This particular rendition of the play, held in the intimate Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, made us close witnesses to one gruesome act after another. The ultimate effect was an impression of war that a trip to the cinema could hardly deliver. But much more than that, the play was an exploration of self-belief, courage, and national identity. It stoked much conversation for us about what citizenship and nationhood means today, not to mention the power of theatre and the enduring legacy of Shakespeare. 

Afterwards we enjoyed catching up over dinner, learning about how each other’s studies and research projects were progressing, many of us relishing a mulled cider or two. With sport running in the background and familiar accents all around, the evening began to take an Australian character before we stepped back outside into the frost. We are grateful to the Ramsay Centre for encouraging this visit to the Globe. No doubt it will be a spot many future Ramsay Scholars will also enjoy visiting.”

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