Strawberries in the Desert

Story telling from Australia

The Bard in Broken Hill

It’s Shakespeare’s birthday this Sunday, as well as the day he died. He was 52.

On Wednesday we joined an audience crammed into a small room above The Toxteth pub in Glebe, to eagerly drink in words written hundreds of years ago.

It was right that we were crammed in. The original Globe Theatre had a pit jammed full of people standing cheek by jowl (and that’s the name of a great theatre company, whose current production of Winter’s Tale can be streamed until May 7.)

Once you get past some of the archaic language, Shakespeare’s words hit you with the force of a thunderclap. He wrote with passion, guts, honesty and extraordinary insight into human nature. His words still resonate today, and the Players in the Pub reading of sonnets and extracts from his plays – some famous, some not so – was a tour de force.

But you don’t need to be a professional actor to enjoy reading Shakespeare.

Three weeks ago we drove out of Broken Hill for a creek bed barbecue. When the wind dropped and the leaping flames had settled into burning embers, we sat in a circle and read extracts from that magical play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

The characters of Puck, Titania, Demetrius, Lysander, Bottom, Helen, Hermia (not Hernia as one wit would have had it) and others sprang into life in that small circle of light in a way that truly honoured Shakespeare’s genius.

So wherever he might be performed – pub, theatre or creek bed – Happy Birthday to the Bard this weekend.

PS And happy birthday to my nephew, born on the same day.

‘A Daniel…a Daniel!’ (Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Sc I)






6 comments on “The Bard in Broken Hill

  1. monsoonwendy
    April 20, 2017

    What wonderful memories this conjures up Deb!!! And….I HAVE TO KNOW ABOUT THE CASTING! Who played whom!?


    • debhuntwasinbrokenhill
      April 21, 2017

      From memory Clyde played Theseus, Emily Titania, Mia was Hermia, Peter was Egeus and Peter Quince, Stuart Riley and Rick Ball showed us marvellous Bottoms and the rest is a haze…!


  2. Ron Walker
    April 21, 2017

    I bet that was a wonderful time. Speaking of Archaic language, I have always loved that type. I’d rather read an old bible, than the new ones with modern language in them. There were times even with flourishes added in the scripts, where more was said, with less wording.


  3. Dan Wells
    April 21, 2017

    It’s also someone else’s birthday this Sunday 😉


    • debhuntwasinbrokenhill
      April 21, 2017

      That’s hilarious, I thought about adding it was also my nephew’s birthday but I couldn’t work out a link to Shakespeare. I’m determined to find one now! x


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This entry was posted on April 20, 2017 by and tagged , .

I'm a writer based in Australia with a passion for gardening, remote places and people with a story to tell.

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