Gill Perkins & Peter Evans
Executive Director and Artistic Director
Gill: Shakespeare for me is universal. His work straddles different cultures. It’s like music, the poetry touches your soul. The human experience is complex and that’s what Shakespeare reflects back to us.
Peter: One of the great privileges of working with Shakespeare, and perhaps the most extraordinary thing for me, is that I grow with it. His plays keep getting richer the older I get. The depth of this work keeps revealing itself.
Gill: When I first worked at Bell Shakespeare as an assistant stage manager in 1996, it was this brave enterprise with a wild vision to take these works around the country. I first met Peter while we were rehearsing Coriolanus in a big, open studio beneath the Harbour Bridge. There was a sense of the precarious nature of it all and the enormity of what we were trying to do.
Peter: Bell Shakespeare has been my home for so long, it’s hard for me to be objective. It’s like asking a fish about water. The first show I directed was the very first national tour in 1997. John Bell told me, “This will be the completion of the vision, we will go everywhere.” It was momentous. Our eight-person version of Macbeth toured to 30 venues with just two stage managers.
Gill: I’ll often meet people who’ll say to me, “Oh! Bell Shakespeare – you came to my school!” followed by “I was in Orange” or “I was in Mudgee” or “I was in Dubbo.” It’s profoundly moving to know we have made an impact on somebody’s life and they remember that years later.
We need Shakespeare. Now more than ever. His words are an expression of our common humanity, his stories are a beacon of generosity, his characters are us. Help us continue our crucial work. If you can, please donate now – together, we can shine brighter than ever before.