Bell Shakespeare announces Melbourne debate lineup

Melbourne, Australia: Bell Shakespeare today announced the lineup for the third and final debate in the Bell Debates series, coming to Melbourne on Thursday 20 May. Held live at Melbourne’s Meat Market and also available virtually on a ‘pay what you feel’ basis via Bell Shakespeare’s website, the event will see high-profile Australians debating the line “The better part of  valour is discretion”from Henry IV Part 1. Debaters include author, presenter and political commentator Jamila Rizvi, barrister, human rights and refugee advocate Julian Burnside QC, actor, writer and academic Jane Montgomery Griffiths, and lawyer and politician Julia Banks. The full lineup will be announced in due course.

The Bell Debates series launched last year with successful debates in Sydney and Canberra, looking at direct quotes from Shakespeare and addressing and tackling ideas from his plays in the context of our modern world. For the Melbourne event, two teams of three will debate for and against the line “The better part of valour is discretion” from Henry IV Part 1, speaking to bravery in our present times. The event will be moderated by Bell Shakespeare Board Member Philip Crutchfield, QC and hosted by Artistic Director Peter Evans, providing a forum to demonstrate the enduring relevance of Shakespeare’s ideas and his unique ability to provoke thought and discussion about the human experience.

Julian Burnside QC said:

Throughout my life I’ve always appreciated the power words can hold. Shakespeare, the true master of language, has a way of tapping into the core of an issue or idea that allows his words to transcend time and connect with individuals all over the world. Bringing them to this debate and questioning them in a contemporary way shows how the themes in his work are as relevant now as they were then in making us think and consider, how does that resonate in our modern world?

 Peter Evans, Artistic Director of Bell Shakespeare, said:

We’re so pleased we can finally bring the Bell Debates to Melbourne, with some of Australia’s greatest minds looking at bravery in our modern world through Falstaff’s humourous line from Henry IV Part 1. While celebrations of our 30th Anniversary were limited last year due to the pandemic, we launched this debate series to continue to connect with our audiences over Shakespeare’s powerful words and look at how they continue to have the ability to stimulate discussion and ideas.

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