Our Story

Bell Shakespeare is Australia’s national theatre company specialising in the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

Established by renowned Actor/Director John Bell, what began in a circus tent in Sydney in 1990 has grown into a theatre company with unrivalled reach and impact, delivering mainstage productions and an education and outreach program to every state and territory, ensuring classic theatre experiences are accessible to all Australians.

We are Bell Shakespeare

We ensure Shakespeare’s work lives and breathes in theatres, schools and communities throughout Australia, where his words can be truly appreciated.

We value the beauty of Shakespeare’s ideas, language and imagery. His work helps us find modern perspectives on timeless truths.

We believe Shakespeare and other great works are not stuck in the past. They are the lens through which we can explore and question the present and imagine the future.

These plays are not static. They’re constantly helping us make sense of who we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going. And we’re not static either. We’ve been travelling the country for 30 years, bringing classic theatre to Australia, looking for new ways to inspire, imagine and ignite.

Shakespeare and the other classic plays we present challenge our beliefs and urge us to see ourselves in a new light. Their ability to discover the things that make us human inspires us to make work that challenges preconceptions and encourages new interpretations and contemporary parallels – work that speaks to every age.


We perform work that is timeless and borderless.


To use Shakespeare and classical works as a means by which we acknowledge our past, explore the present, and contemplate our future;

To perform and share Shakespeare’s works with audiences in theatres, schools and communities across the country;

To support a culturally rich society and to contribute to that with respect, integrity and passion;

To embody the strongest social values in everything we do.


Shakespeare’s writing challenges us to reach beyond our grasp and gives us the wherewithal to imagine our future. If we can learn anything from Shakespeare and the great writers of the past, it is that we hold within ourselves the power to make choices about who we want to be.

Bell Shakespeare believes that our greatest resource is our capacity to imagine and to transform: to picture a different world, to know that it can be one of our own making – and that we can be both its creator and a character within it.

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin

Troilus And Cressida


At Bell Shakespeare, we choose sustainable work practices across all aspects of the Company’s operations. As a national company constantly on the move, we are committed to assessing and reducing our carbon footprint with a firm vision for the future.

At our headquarters, we ensure the best possible practices are implemented in our offices and rehearsal/production premises. This includes energy reduction, responsible waste management, and the use of green products within the office.


  • Assess and calculate our annual carbon footprint and reduce that footprint
  • Review our ways of communicating with our patrons and increase our electronic capacity including invitations, letters and newsletters
  • Use paper stock that is at least 50% recycled
  • Recycle and reuse existing sets, costumes and props where practical.
  • Create environmentally responsible theatre productions
  • Encourage and implement Company-wide behavioural change