It’s been a while since an update, for which I apologise, but this post will go a long way towards explaining my absence from this blog!
At the start of the current pandemic, I was toying with the idea of doing a stand-alone season of Shakespeare Republic. All my other projects had to go on hold and I had no idea what I was going to do with all that free time. I could have learned to bake, and there were times this year where I thought maybe I should have, but as I am now heading into the final strait of directing and producing this latest season, I have to say that I wouldn’t change this experience for the world.
I don’t sit still very well. So when I started playing with the idea of doing another season of the series – filmed entirely by remote, rehearsing and directing filming via Zoom – back in March, the idea excited me.
Here was a new challenge. A way of doing things that, to be honest, could be the way forward for a while yet. And it would be a chance to work with actors based around the world that I hadn’t been able to work with in this series, due to them not being in Melbourne.
So I dived in. Despite my wonderful Co-Producers, Christopher Kirby and Billy Smedley cautiously reminding me that I had said to them to stop me if I decided to do anything crazy. But despite their gentle warnings about burnout (a valid concern), by taking on such a mammoth project during a pandemic, they graciously backed me all the way once the decision was made and the only reason I’m still standing eight months later is because of their unceasing support, along with additional Co-Producer, Phoebe Anne Taylor, who joined the fray halfway through the process. This project has truly been a team effort.
And now, having filmed 23 episodes of this new season (1 more to go!) – working with actors based in Australia, the USA and UK – and with 20 episodes released to date, I couldn’t be prouder of the entire team.
Shakespeare Republic: #AllTheWebsAStage (The Lockdown Chronicles) has now garnered over 65,000 views, been officially selected for 11 international film festivals (9 announced, 2 more currently under embargo), nominated for 5 awards and won 2 awards to date. It has received some lovely press attention and been the one thing that has kept me sane throughout 2020. I have been so blessed to work with the amazing group of actors who rallied around to be part of this – rekindling friendships and forming new ones in the process – and it has been an absolute privilege to once again plumb the depths of Shakespeare’s canon and bring his words and characters to life, set smack in the middle of the global pandemic we are all currently experiencing. It has been a joyous, exhausting, fulfilling, stressful, but most of all cathartic process and I am so grateful to all our brilliant ensemble, production team and amazing group of donors and supporters on Patreon and elsewhere, including those who have liked, shared and commented on the work across social media.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
On this historic day for the USA, I give thanks also for the good in the world. It is there, it exists. I have been privileged to witness it and benefit from it pretty much every day of these last 8 months within my incredible team on this project and I wish for everyone to know that sense of hope, sustenance and love going forward.
And now, I return to the edit of the final episodes.
To see all the episodes released to date, head here:
To find out more about the series, head here:
Be kind to yourself and others, be safe and speak again very soon.