Coming soon Shakespeare Lectures as PowerPoint slides with audio plus PDF handout sheets. I have taught for the Open University, as a visiting lecturer at Dillington House in Somerset, at Warwick University, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Sprich Dich Frei Language Institute in Wolfsberg, Austria. I also worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon both in the education department and with the RSC Collection.
Lectures Written by Amelia Marriette
I have nearly thirty years of experience as a Lecturer. I focus on two main areas - William Shakespeare and Gustav Holst. I have an MA in Shakespeare Studies from the Shakespeare Institute (University of Birmingham) and I am also a playwright. In addition, I was the Curator of the Holst Birthplace Museum in Cheltenham.
All my talks are illustrated using a laptop, and a digital projector, the images, film and audio clips are designed to aid both enjoyment and learning and usually last approximately one hour.
One to one sessions and small groups are welcome. I also take commissions and will write a Shakespeare lecture for you. One of the more unusual commissions I received was to write a lecture comparing Hamlet with the Disney Musical Moana:
"Amelia Marriette wrote and led a masterclass via Zoom for us. It was fantastic! It was everything I hoped for and the students were rapt. Amelia was totally on point and gave the kids a lot to think about for their characters and the overall themes of the musical and how it relates to Hamlet." Mychelle Hopkins, Director, The Old Town Playhouse Michigan, July 2020.
List of Lectures
Shakespeare Today: Exploring Shakespeare's Cultural Legacy
This lecture was written to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in 2016, but I have continued to update it. I discuss the impact that Shakespeare has on our daily lives. The English language was greatly enriched by Shakespeare: he invented 1,700 words. I talk about how Hamlet has affected our culture. How Othello changed world history and even helped put Obama in the White House. This is a fascinating topic that will really make you appreciate why the Bard is still so treasured. In August 2022, I was invited to give this talk for the National Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama at their annual conference in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Shakespeare at the Colosseum
Looking at set and designer choices. I consider Antony Cleopatra (Directed by Trevor Nunn, 1984); Julius Caesar (Director Joseph Mankiewicz, 1953, with Marlon Brando as Marc Antony) and Coriolanus on Film (Directed by Ralph Fiennes, 2010). Film clips are included.
Shakespeare and the Curse of Macbeth
I look at Shakespeare's use of the curse, how the play became so cursed that even the name of the play cannot be uttered in a theatre. I look at the apparently cursed stage history of the play.
Shakespeare: The Man from Stratford-upon-Avon - The Authorship Controversy
I am always asked to address this issue, so in this talk, I look at how this phenomenon started and why this has become such an important question. I offer my own views, supported by recent scholarship, to prove that William Shakespeare, the man from Stratford-upon-Avon, is the man who wrote the most celebrated plays in the Western Canon. After hearing this talk, you will be able to answer this perennial question once and for all.
Shakespeare’s Classical Education
The (Latin) Grammar Schools of the Tudor period provided young schoolboys, Shakespeare included, with a Classical Education so advanced that today, a Classics graduate has a comparable education to a Tudor school child. I look at how Latin authors inspired and informed Shakespeare.
Shakespeare and Ovid
A consideration of Shakespeare’s use of Classical Texts, especially Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Ovid was the single greatest influence on Shakespeare. For everything was in "ceaseless flow." Shakespeare takes this idea and conjures up amazing characters, many of whom are in the process of metamorphosis. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Venus and Adonis and Romeo and Juliet feature in this talk.
Shakespeare and Rome on Stage
Shakespeare's Roman plays, Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar; Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus at the Royal Shakespeare Company - a consideration of productions using rare production images and assessing critical responses. I worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company for some years and therefore have some insider knowledge.
Shakespeare and Renaissance Italy
Around 1300, there was a revival in Italy of ancient classical influences. Italy became, for Shakespeare, not only the setting for many of his plays but also the place that most inspired his imagination. From Dante to Petrarch to Machiavelli, Renaissance values fuelled Shakespeare, with over 800 references to Italy in his plays. This talk discovers the links and explains why Italy was so important to him.
Shakespeare and Composers
I consider Henry V, Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story. I look at composer choices and how their interpretations shape the way we perceive these quintessential works. The music of William Walton, Benjamin Britten, Patrick Doyle and Nina Rota features. This is ideal for music groups and societies who wish to appreciate longer musical extracts.
You can click on the image to buy a PDF of my conclusion to my Shakespeare Today lecture; you can book me to deliver this - my most popular talk - by Zoom or in person.
2023 marked the 400th anniversary of the publishing of Shakespeare's First Folio. My play, Nay, Remember Me! about the publishing of the First Folio formed the centrepiece of the Shakespeare Folio 400 Festival in Malvern in the UK in November 2023—an eight-day celebration of the publishing of Shakespeare's First Folio. Click the YouTube link below to watch the short film of the 2023 production. If you would like to find out more about my comedy-drama about Shakespeare and the First Folio, please click the image below to contact my publisher, Lazy Bee Scripts. You can also visit my /plays website page for more details.
More Lectures -
The Composer, Gustav Holst
Gustav Holst: The Man and his Music
As well as offering talks and lectures about Shakespeare, I also offer a talk about the composer Gustav Holst. During my three years as the curator of the Holst Birthplace Museum, I developed this very accessible illustrated talk. It includes slides and musical extracts placed in context. I provide an overview of Holst’s contribution to English Music and an insight into his fascinating character. Holst was a socialist and a Hindu-inspired vegetarian. He was never a dull companion! I have delivered this talk for Recorded Music Societies around the country, as well as to other more general interest groups in the UK and in Austria.
You can download my article on COTSWOLD LIFE MAGAZINE (click on the PDF logo) about Holst and the Christmas Carol In the Bleak Midwinter. My article about the Gustav Holst Way was also published by Cotswold Life Magazine in January 2020.
My MA thesis was published in Shakespeare, Film, Fin de Siècle, edited by Mark Thornton Burnett and Ramona Wray, 73-88. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000. Marriette, Amelia. "Urban Dystopias: Reapproaching Christine Edzard's As You Like It." You can click on the image of the book cover to find out more.