Season Preview: Your guide to the arts in 2024

Bell Shakespeare has announced two plays for 2024: a new production of Shakespeare’s King Lear, opening in the company’s near-new theatre in Sydney’s Walsh Bay, and a remount its 2021 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was meant to tour around the country, but was stopped in its tracks by the pandemic.

King Lear will be played by Robert Menzies, one of Australia’s most experienced and distinctive actors. He comes to the title role having played Kent opposite Robyn Nevin when she delivered her Queen Lear to Melbourne audiences in 2012. He was also in John Bell’s Nimrod Theatre production of the play, staged in Sydney in 1984. Before that, Menzies – then a recent drama school graduate – was an understudy in a Queensland Theatre staging of King Lear in 1978. Menzies’ recent work with Bell Shakespeare includes playing Friar Laurence in the company’s 2023 Romeo and Juliet and Polonius in the company’s 2020 Hamlet.

Premiering in Sydney in The Neilson Nutshell from 20 June – 20 July before travelling to Arts Centre Melbourne (25 July – 11 August), this...