Welcome To Shakespeare In Italy

About Us

Shakespeare in Italy is a charity dedicated to advancing the arts, specifically drama, for the benefit of all.

Our aim is to enliven the experience of Shakespeare’s Italian plays with an exciting mix of British realism and Italian intensity while acknowledging the influence of the Italian Renaissance on his work.

The new company will explore this through performances in the UK, Italy and beyond, as well as via a programme of education and outreach.

Two former Royal Shakespeare Company actors, Julian Curry and Mary Chater in association with the Italian theatre manager, Sandro Pascucci,  founded the company which is managed by a board of Trustees. Our patrons are Ralph Fiennes, Ian McKellen and Judi Dench.

Any project devoted to the works of Shakespeare has my enthusiastic support. Shakespeare in Italy has already established its credentials and a determination to explore and examine the plays from a fresh perspective. I wish the Company every possible luck for its future.

Ian McKellen

Shakespeare has always been my passion. Italy is a passion of mine too. This wonderful company has combined them both, and I wish them every success.

Judi Dench

Italy, or the idea of Italy, had a strong hold on Shakespeare's imagination and I have been privileged to perform in some of his Italian plays. I am pleased to be patron of this new company, Shakespeare in Italy, which aims to explore and further illuminate these magnificent works.

Ralph Fiennes
The Shakespeare in Italy leader proposed some scenes from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and ' The London Sketch.' This helped the students to work in an unusual and stimulating way, away from their normal curriculum, which doesn't usually include theatrical perfomances and encouraged them to approach language learning in a quite different manner.

Silvia Moscioni, G Celli technical school, Cagli (PU) Marche

Latest News

#Rare #opportunity for #Masterclass with #RSC Honorary Associate Artist Bill Alexander - Monday March 2nd at #ThePlaygroundTheatre, London W10 6RQ

Theatre director Bill Alexander (RSC Honorary Associate Artist) will lead a two hour Masterclass on ‘A Merchant of Venice’ - his #new #adaptation. Followed by 30 mins of questions from the audience. Tickets: £22 & £15 concessions - boxoffice@theplaygroundtheatre.london

Mary Chater 0 20

Bill began his career at the Bristol Old Vic and joined the RSC in 1977 where he was Resident and then Associate Director until 1992. He was Artistic Director of the #BirminghamRep between 1992 and 2001. Having directed ‘The Merchant of Venice’ four times (RSC, Birmingham Rep, #LAMDA and #BristolOldVicTheatreSchool) it has become, by his own admission, an obsession with him.
Acting students from #DramaStudioLondon will assist Bill in the masterclass, which will focus on themes within the play. We welcome anyone to the Masterclass who has either a love of and interest in Shakespeare or who is simply curious to know more and see a master of his profession at work!


We can also announce that Bill's adaptation, a 90-minute, modern dress version, ‘A Merchant of Venice’, will be performed at the Playground Theatre in September. This is a new production by Shakespeare in Italy (incorporating Sharing Shakespeare)

General admission - £22

Concession - ( #student, #unemployed, #'over60's #under26 ) - £15

Teachers and lecturers go free when bringing a group of 10 or more.

Please contact the Box Office via boxoffice@theplaygroundtheatre.london to book        

For more information please contact Mary Chater or Collette Parker at info@shakespeareinitaly.org.uk  -  poster image by Chris Duggan

#BillAlexander on his #new #90minute, #6actor #adaptation in #moderndress of #TheMerchantofVenice - at The Playground Theatre, Latimer Road London W10 in September

This will be our first production. Eleanor Bull will design the show www.eleanorbull.co.uk www.theplaygroundtheatre.london

Mary Chater 0 77

One can get obsessed with a particular work of art and I confess that obsession is the only way to describe my relationship to The Merchant of Venice. I have directed it twice professionally (the RSC and Birmingham Rep), twice at drama schools (LAMDA and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School) and taught and lectured on it often. When working on select scenes with students at the London Drama Studio (Ealing) it began to occur to me that there was an inner play about a small network of relationships that was the core of the bigger play that wrestles with huge themes of Justice and Mercy, Marriage and Money, Race and Class, and it is this inner core, essentially about the tortured nature of Love, that my production for Shakespeare in Italy will focus on.


Antonio loves Bassanio in a tortured way because he struggles to understand the true nature of his feelings and has no idea either how to express them or whether they will ever be reciprocated. Bassanio loves Portia but is tortured by how real that is when weighed against his desperate need of her money to repay his debts to a man he also loves, Antonio! Portia loves Bassanio but is tortured by the terms of her dead father's bizarre will that dictates her marital future turns on the outcome of a crazy-seeming lottery. The conversation of the lovers before Bassanio makes his choice turns around the metaphor of them both being on the rack, the Elizabethan torturers instrument of choice. Shylocks torture, apart from his foul treatment by the Christians of Venice, is the death of his adored wife Leah and the duplicity of his daughter. My version of the play, which I have called A Merchant of Venice, excludes much that is well known, to focus on just six key characters whose entangled loves, desires and fortunes hinge on better understanding of themselves and their relation to each other in the blackly comic world of a modern Venice, the sublime and terrible Serenissima.
Bill Alexander January 2020 

#theplaygroundtheatrelondon #newadaptation #moderndress #90minutes #6actors #eleanorbull #designer #billalexander #smallscale #innovative #newversion #youngactors #portia #shylock #bassanio #antonio #gratiano #repubblicadivenezia #venice #Elizabethanrack #rackinstrumentoftorture #laSerenissima #teatrogoldoni #themerchantofvenice

Snacking on Shakespeare - 5 sessions starting #January21st in #BrightonandHove for all those #over50's with a taste for Shakespeare and having the words in your mouth

please see below for details

Mary Chater 0 114

This is a new group this year at LifeLines
Happy New Year everyone! We hope you had a lovely Christmas if you were celebrating and bring on 2020. We've got some great new groups for you to try this year.

If Snacking on Shakespeare takes your fancy please get in touch by calling us on 01273 688 117 or emailing us at lifelines@volunteeringmatters.org.uk

#Socialexclusion #Loneliness #Listening #Wellbeing #theatre #Shakespearelovers #Togetherness #Sharing #Fun #Chatting #acting #designing #costumes #backdrop #shakespearecurious #shakespeareinterested #shakespearefriend #friendship #laughing #smiling #emotions #storytelling #empathy #confidence #snacking