Promotional Video 2019
BRIEF UPDATE: We congratulate one of our founding producers, Lexi Sekuless, who has taken up an Arts advisory role in Government. To avoid any perceptions of conflict of interest for Lakespeare, Lexi has stepped down from Lakespeare & Co. Of the many contributions Lexi has made to our group, one of the most unheralded is the work she has put into teaching Shakespeare verse technique here in Canberra. This is not glamorous or financially rewarding (she could earn more doing any number of other things), but is a passion project. The legacy of this work will, in my opinion, ultimately outweigh the artistic productions which are more obvious to the eye. – Paul Leverenz.
Lakespeare & Co is an independent theatre company founded by Taimus Werner-Gibbings, Duncan Driver, Lexi Sekuless and Paul Leverenz. The company present a free summer Shakespeare season called Shakespeare by the Lakes (SBTL), boutique events such as Shakespeare Down the Pub and bespoke and immersive performances at corporate dinners. In 2020, we were delighted that Dr Laine Hart joined our team.
Our vision is to make our annual event of accessible, agile and high-quality theatre a permanent part of the ACT’s summer events season. For the last two years, we have built corporate partnerships in order to sustain our seasons. And with the aid of local government support over both years, we have been able to increase the number of shows.
Lakespeare & Co believe that live theatre is an exhilarating, shared experience. We make theatre accessible by bringing the experience and language right to you. Due to our free performances, audiences get an insight into Shakespeare they’ve never had before. They are surprised and delighted that something 400 years old can be this fresh and fun.
Dr Duncan Driver is a Shakespeare Scholar and academic at the University of Canberra and Lexi Sekuless is a trained Shakespearean actor and voice coach. Our success to-date is not by accident. Under their tutelage, we follow the production model of New York’s Shakespeare in the Park and train our actors to the performance model and standard of London’s Globe. This high-level training occurs with actors all around the world and enables the poetry and prose of Shakespeare to be understood by audience members of all ages.
SHAKESPEARE BY THE LAKES
Our team has now completed two seasons of high-quality free Shakespeare and provided events which appeal to all ages. We bring Shakespeare to people of all ages and stages in life.
SBTL I was a season of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ held in Tuggeranong Town Park, Glebe Park in Civic and QEII Park in Queanbeyan during February 2018 to over 4,200 people.
SBTL II was a season of ‘Twelfth Night’ performed to over 5,000 members of the Capital Region public. We returned to Tuggeranong Town Park and Glebe Park while also adding the Patrick White Lawns in front of the National Library of Australia.
In 2019, we opened the season at the Lanyon Homestead for our first boutique, ticketed performance. This stunning premiere was supported by ACT Historic Places. In addition, we trialled Shakespeare Down the Pub at the George Harcourt Inn and this was a raging success.
SBTL III featured ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ which was seen by over 5200 people. In addition, our first year of “Shakespeare by the Vines” at Pialligo was a raging success with full houses and appreciative audiences.
Due to COVID, we were not able to produce SBTL IV in 2021- that will occur in 2022. Instead, with the support of local Canberra artists, we were able to produce a cabaret show “Songs and Sonnets”.
Unfortunately due to COVID, a planned 2021 Winter show of Richard III was deferred. It was reborn in August as Rockspeare, a rock-influenced version that was live-streamed.
The company began our corporate event series in late 2018 with a bespoke performance at the Canberra Business Chamber Gala Dinner. This was continued in 2019 with a more intimate evening performance at the National Museum. Lakespeare & Co. has also performed Sounds of Shakespeare bespoke performances at the 2018 Sounds of Summer festival in the Botanic Gardens and recently at ANU in November 2019.
Taimus Werner-Gibbings, Dr Duncan Driver, Paul Leverenz