Seek­ing For­tune

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Fashion -

TUCKED away in the UWA arts build­ing is a sym­bol of world theatre.

The New For­tune Theatre was the first replica Shake­spearean theatre built in the South­ern Hemi­sphere, open­ing in 1964.

Winthrop Pro­fes­sor in English and Cul­tural Stud­ies at UWA Bob White said the stage drew a num­ber of over­seas vis­i­tors keen to ex­pe­ri­ence an au­then­tic re­con­struc­tion of Lon­don’s 1600s For­tune Play­house.

Prof White, with Ciara Rawns­ley, is one of the editors of The New For­tune Theatre: That Vast Open Stage, fea­tur­ing es­says on the theatre’s ori­gins and the sig­nif­i­cance of the stage.

The out­door theatre was the brain­child of Pro­fes­sor Allan Ed­wards, Chair of English at UWA in 1941.

The first pro­duc­tion of Ham­let at the New For­tune Theatre opened to a full house on Jan­uary 29, 1964.

“It was a big in­ter­na­tional event, the world was watch­ing,” Prof White said.

The book is out now from UWA Pub­lish­ing.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d483578

Edi­tor Bob White at the New For­tune Theatre.

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