19 May 2015 / Events
Annual Address: Cleopatra’s Sisters
Presented by Dame Janet Suzman
The Annual Address will deal with the ever-veiled participation of women in Shakespeare’s world. That mystery gives the celebrated actress, Dame Janet Suzman, the opportunity to take issue with the prevailing view on women’s role in inspiring a depth of character unknown in other writers.
Dame Janet Suzman left South Africa to explore her love of English in general and Shakespeare in particular by training at LAMDA and then joining the RSC (Hon. Associate Artist) for the famous quatercentenary Wars of the Roses and in the following years played many of the major heroines. Further forays into various dramatic landscapes – the fjords of Norway, the steppes of Russia – followed a memorable trip down the Nile by way of the Avon. She had an Academy Award Nomination for Nicholas and Alexandra, and has twice won The Evening Standard Best Actress Award. She is proud to have once made a film with the late great Federico Fellini. Other films and miniseries include Clayhanger, The Draughtsman’s Contract, The Singing Detective, A Dry White Season, The Priest of Love. She is a Patron of The Market Theatre, Johannesburg where, three years before Mandela was released, she directed what is now called The Johannesburg Othello. She directed Kim Cattrall as Cleopatra twice, at The Liverpool Playhouse and again at The Chichester Theatre. More recently she played a new South African work, Solomon and Marion, in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Natal, the Edinburgh Festival (nominated Best Actress of the Fringe) and London. She is author of Not Hamlet – essays on the frail position of women in Drama. She was made DBE in 2011.