Bell Shakespeare presents John Bell’s intimate solo performance

Following sell-out performances in Sydney and Canberra in 2021, Bell Shakespeare presents an intimate performance by company Founding Artistic Director John Bell, One Man  In  His Time: John Bell and Shakespeare. Bell will perform in the company’s new theatre space, the Neilson Nutshell at Pier 2/3 at Walsh Bay Arts Precinct from 2-3 September, before performing the show in Melbourne for the first time from 9-10 September.

Referencing the “all the world’s a stage” speech from As You Like It (“one man in his time plays many parts”), this solo show puts Bell’s mastery of Shakespeare’s language and character work on full display. Bell reflects on works by Shakespeare that have left their mark on him throughout his life.

Bell Shakespeare’s Founding Artistic Director John Bell believed that Australians could see themselves reflected in the works of Shakespeare, and founded a Company based on his belief. Now in his 81st year, he shares his wit and humour, giving audiences a backstage pass to his lifetime of experience walking beside one of the greatest writers to have ever lived and reflecting on works by Shakespeare that have left their mark on him.

John Bell, Founding Artistic Director of Bell Shakespeare:

Ever since founding Bell Shakespeare over 30 years ago, I have campaigned for the company to have a permanent home and it’s incredible to see this dream become reality. I’m delighted to be performing in the new theatre The Neilson Nutshell and to share my reflections on Shakespeare’s works throughout my life.

My relationship with Shakespeare and his plays has changed and developed throughout the years as I myself have changed and developed. ‘To be or not to be’ means something entirely different when you’re 20 to when you’re 80. I’ve always been struck by not only Shakespeare’s  language but his humanity, his deep understanding of the human mind and heart, and his ability to transcend time as his words resonate with people of all generations and ages.

Audiences will witness this icon of the Australian stage and his genuine connection to Shakespeare that has inspired Australians for decades, moving through Shakespeare’s works and characters, from Hamlet to lesser-performed works including Timon of Athens.


One Man In His Time will be presented at:

  • The Neilson Nutshell at Pier 2/3 at Walsh Bay Arts Precinct from 2-3 September
  • The Arts Centre Melbourne from 9-10 September

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