My name is Vanessa O’Neill and this will be my third time at the Scotch College Literature Festival. I’ll be presenting sessions on three of Shakespeare’s plays - Macbeth, Julius Caesar and Richard III. The sessions will be a mixture of performance, discussion and student participation.
I’ve had a ‘thing’ for Shakespeare ever since I was at University in a production of ‘Twelfth Night’. After finishing at Drama School in London my first job was touring four plays to schools in the UK. One of them was ‘Macbeth’. In all that time I never got tired of the play or the part of Lady Macbeth. The play still excites me and every time I perform it or see it I discover new things about the play. Over the years I have performed in a wide range of Shakespearean plays and have my own show of Shakespeare’s Women. As an actor, it is still one of my favourite challenges - performing Shakespeare live. I love the depth and complexity and unpredictability of his characters. I feel that they engage me on every level - intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically.
So that’s enough about me…I would love to hear from you. Do you have any questions about any of Shakespeare’s plays or characters? Anything you’d like to know about the times in which he wrote? Any areas of confusion or sheer incomprehension? Let me know. I never get tired of discussing Shakespeare’s plays. I can’t claim to have any ‘definitive’ answers, but would be very happy to share my interpretations and thoughts on Shakespeare with you.
PS - don’t be shy - there is no such thing as a ‘dumb’ question!