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.
I have over twenty years of experience as a Lecturer. I focus on two main areas - William Shakespeare and Gustav Holst.
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.
List of Lectures
Shakespeare Today: Exploring Shakespeare's Cultural Legacy
This is was written to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in 2016. 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 which will really make you appreciate why the Bard is still so treasured.
Shakespeare at the Movies
A brief look at the history of Shakespeare on film, looking at and set designer choices for As You Like It (1936 & 1992) Henry V (1944 & 1989), Romeo and Juliet (1968) and West Side Story (1961). Film clips enhance the experience.
Shakespeare at the Colosseum
A very brief history of Shakespeare on film, 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: Was he the Author?
This is the one question I am always asked. 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 and 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 metamorphoses. 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 settings 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 the 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 and 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.
Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon
Building on my ten years working for the Royal Shakespeare Company, this talk offers the history of performance in Stratford-upon-Avon, from 1769 to the present. I have an excellent working knowledge of the old and new theatre buildings in Stratford.
Please Note: I am happy to arrange to accompany groups to Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire. I can act as a guide and provide pre or after-show discussions. I can arrange official backstage tours too and arrange accommodation. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
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.
Fees Per Lecture
(Lectures lasts approximately one hour
100 Euros for groups of 75 people or less
150 Euros for groups of 75 to 150 people
225 Euros for groups of 150 people or more
If you would prefer longer sessions, I also offer day courses, I will present three full lectures, with a break for lunch.
Shakespeare an Appreciation
Shakespeare, Rome and Italy
Gustav Holst - The Man and his Music
Fees for Day Courses
275 Euros - per day - 10.30 am - 17.00 pm
For this sum, I will provide 3 fully illustrated lectures plus handouts.
325 Euros for the day plus an evening session - 10.30 am - 21.00 pm
By adding an evening event you can make the day more sociable. I can host an open discussion, a play reading or a film screening, or indeed, you may want to organise a nice meal for the evening to round things off.
For journeys over I charge 35 cents per kilometre. I am happy to travel pretty much anywhere to present my talks and courses. Please contact me to discuss your requirements.
If you run a charitable organisation, please contact me as I may be able to provide discounted rates.
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."