Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Shaking Up Mackay With Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night, Sydney based theatre company Bell Shakespeare, will be visiting Mackay with a fresh retelling of the romantic comedy which captured the attention of audiences in 1623.

Those familiar with Shakespeare’s works recognise Twelfth Night as the playwright’s most musical play. It tells the story of Viola, who finds herself washed up in a strange new land and, determined to survive, disguises herself as a man to secure a position in the household of Duke Orsino.

MECC Manager, Andrew Bobeldyk, encourages audiences who are new to Shakespeare to come along and try something different.

“Bell Shakespeare has an uncanny ability to get an audience laughing at comedy and wit that was written centuries ago,” he said.

“First timers are always surprised at how much they enjoy their renditions of Shakespeare’s plays.”

Directed by Heather Fairbairn, who has worked internationally with companies including the Royal Opera House and the Royal Court Theatre in London, the production will feature original music from Aria Award winner Sarah Blasko, bringing a unique vision to Shakespeare’s most musical play.

Ms Fairbairn said, “I’m fascinated by the enigmatic nature of Twelfth Night, which transcends time and place.

“In this production, there is no specified setting which, coupled with the haunting nature of Sarah Blasko’s music, lends an otherworldly feel to the play.”

The Sydney based theatre company is also bringing student scholarship and workshop opportunities to the region with their Regional Arts Access (RAW) and John Bell Scholarship (JBS) programs.

For more information on the performance, RAW or JBS please contact

What: Bell Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

When: Tuesday 5 September, 7.30pm

Where: MECC – Auditorium


Bell Shakespeare Twelfth Night Rehearsals. Photo Credit: Brett Boardman

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