Posted by: admin January 3rd, 2017

Lucy Bailey pic.jpg JohnNettles pic.jpg Janet Suzman pic.jpg


Shakespeare in Italy Summer course, Padua 2017.

Shakespeare in Italy is delighted to announce a 14 day residential summer course in Padua, from June 24th to July 8th 2017.  It follows highly successful courses at the University of Urbino in 2014 and 2015. The programme will once again focus on 3 Shakespeare plays set in Italy. The aim is to explore them in depth, and their relationship to the huge European cultural wealth that Shakespeare imaginatively drew upon. Course work will include discussions, textual and character analysis, and practical work on scenes. This year we will be focusing on Othello, Titus Andronicus and The Merchant of Venice.

Participants. must speak English, otherwise it is open house.  Clients range in age from 19 to 92. Some are college or university students. Some are actors. Some are adults with a lively interest in Italian Renaissance culture in general, and Shakespeare in particular. This diversity works especially well when scenes are being "put on their feet". Those who wish to perform can do so, while those who don't can observe and comment on the work in progress.

Schedule. On day 1 participants arrive and settle in, with an introductory session and welcome dinner. The programme is then divided into modules devoted to each play in turn, under the guidance of its own leader. After every module there will be a day's break for artistic, architectural and gastronomic adventures.

The tutors: Lucy Bailey is a highly acclaimed director whose credits range widely from productions of Shakespeare for the Royal Shakespeare Company to experimental new work, and the world premiere of Lessness by Samuel Beckett. She will run a module devoted to Titus Andronicus, a play she staged previously to shattering effect at the Globe Theatre. Janet Suzman's stellar acting career encompasses work classical and modern, much of it devoted to leading roles with the RSC. As a director she was responsible for a ground breaking staging of Othello at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg.  This is the play she has chosen to explore further at the summer course. John Nettles' fame as star of the television series Bergerac and Midsomer Murders may have blinded the public to his versatility. He has also played many key roles for the RSC, and been a wonderfully hissable King Rat, in a green follow spot in pantomime. He will take charge of workshops on The Merchant of Venice.

Founders of Shakespeare in Italy:  As well as being an actor, Mary Chater is a qualified Blue Badge guide. She will be on hand to advise people on activities relating to Padua and the Veneto area. In addition to his acting career Julian Curry is an experienced drama teacher. As required by the module leaders, he will give support to individuals and groups throughout each workshop, coaching, encouraging, explaining and directing. Sandro Pascucci is a widely experienced theatre manager.

The city of Padua is in Northern Italy’s Veneto region, less than a hour from Venice, Verona and Vicenza.  Highlights of its rich heritage include the country's second oldest university, whose school of medicine opened in 1222 and where Shakespeare's contemporary Galileo held the chair of Mathematics from 1592-1610, the stunning frescoes by Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel dating from 1303–05, and the magnificent 13th-century Byzantine-style Basilica di Sant'Antonio. The vast elliptical Prato della Valle is the largest square in Italy.  It features a green island at the centre, surrounded by a small canal bordered by two rings of statues. Contemporary Padua is a vibrant city with arcaded streets that house excellent restaurants, shops and stylish cafes, often frequented by University students.

Excursions. As a supplement to the Shakespeare modules, a variety of events will be on offer. Some will be chosen for the light they shed on Shakespeare's relationship to Italian Renaissance culture. Others will be purely for their intrinsic interest and/or pleasure. E.g. Day trips to nearby Venice and Verona, the settings for several of Shakespeare's plays. We hope to include a visit to the ravishing Goldoni Theatre in Venice, plus an evening party at the countryside home of eminent Paduan lawyer Massimiliano De Benetti. Max's mother will be in charge of cooking specialities from her native Reggio Calabria.

Our hotel is the Casa del Pellegrino in the centre of Padua, directly opposite the Basilica di Sant'Antonio. Address: Via Melchiorre Cesarotti 21, 35123 Padova, Italy.  +39 049 8239 711.  It is a short taxi ride from Padua railway and bus stations. The nearest airport is Venice Marco Polo, approximately 40 minutes away by coach, train or taxi.

The cost of the course plus accommodation, breakfast and eight dinners is €2250 per person. This covers 2 people sharing a room with either twin beds or a double bed. All rooms are air conditioned and have wi-fi and en suite bathrooms. The price for the course with single room is €2450. Other types of upgrade are available on request.

Participants will be responsible for buying their own lunches, and on 6 evenings they will be free to explore local restaurants.

Summer course testimonials

It was an unforgettable, totally stimulating experience which, amongst many other things, has made me look at myself in a different light. Too late for me to apply to RADA, but setting up a play reading group has possibilities! It is a measure of the success of your organisation that such a disparate group of people, from across the world and the age spectrum, came together for two weeks in Italy and bonded with such energy and humour. Jenny Robson UK

The course was above and beyond my expectations. Having three such insightful teachers was exceptional. But having the group so intelligent and with so much life experience was an unexpected bonus. I loved the friendly, caring family atmosphere. It was a life changing experience for me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Lyn Pierse, Australia.

I think everything was arranged perfectly and the environment was both professional and friendly. Marcello Bessone, Italy