How Shakespeare’s Globe got built – Diana Devlin’s personal account

Come to another Shakespeare lunchtime talk on Thursday 2 June 12.30-1.30pm at Central Library. Diana will present a personal account of the struggle, going back to 1972, when she was first involved in Sam Wanamaker’s concept to reconstruct Shakespeare’s Globe in London. Included will be film footage taken during the project.


About the speaker:
Diana is Deputy Chair, Shakespeare Globe Council, a member of Globe Education Advisory Group and a freelance tutor in theatre arts, including Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Mountview Theatre School and Globe Education. Since 1995 she has lead ‘Rarely Played’ and other seminars at Globe Education.

From 1985-87, Diana was Administrator of the International Shakespeare Globe Centre, London working closely with the late Sam Wanamaker in the Globe reconstruction’s formative days and was later appointed a Trustee.

Diana Devlin read English at Cambridge University and gained her doctorate in Theatre Arts on a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Minnesota. She has taught in numerous colleges and universities in the UK and USA including The Colorado College, Goldsmiths’ College, Central School, RADA, and Webber-Douglas.

As Head of Drama Studies, Guildhall School of Music & Drama from 1993-2011, Diana’s responsibilities included leading validation and revalidation of BA and MA programmes in Acting Department. She has been on other validation panels for BA in the UK, Hong Kong and USA. Between 1989-93 she was Personnel and Training Manager Trinity College of Music (Stage Presentation for Singers) and at Central School of Speech and Drama (course leading to BA Central School of Speech and Drama (course leading to BA in Drama). From 1980, Diana was appointed Advisory Drama Teacher, Inner London Education Authority. She has written several books and many articles and reviews.

Among her other fascinating roles, Diana was Training Consultant to Royal Collection Enterprises, including delivery of visitor care training at Buckingham Palace (Summer Opening, Queen’s Picture Gallery, Royal Mews), Sandringham House and Personnel and Training Manager, Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent.

SGCNZ is grateful to Shakespeare’s Globe, London for assisting in bringing Diana to New Zealand and Wellington City Libraries for hosting this talk.

For more information about Shakespeare events check out our blog –

Come to the Central Library and experience Shakespeare live!

Shakespeare lives at the library small banner

Just because April has finished and Shakespeare’s birth/death date on 23 April has passed does not mean that the fun is over at Wellington City Libraries.

We have more Pop-up Shakespeare sessions planned for the year, Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand will be organising for actors from various local theatre groups to come in to Central Library at 11am-12pm on one Saturday per month throughout the year. They will be performing scenes from selected plays, with four plays per event, in roughly chronological order.

Audience members will be encouraged to join in!

The scheduled dates and plays for Pop-up Shakespeare;

May 21: Henry VI, Richard III, The Taming of the shrew, The Two Gentlemen of Verona
June 25: Love’s Labour’s Lost, Richard II, Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
July 23: The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry IV, parts 1 & 2
August 20: Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It
September 17: Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Troilus & Cressida, All’s Well That Ends Well
October 15: Measure For Measure, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth
November 12: Antony & Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Timon of Athens, Pericles, The Two Noble Kinsmen
December 10: Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest, Henry VIII, Cardenio

There are also a few talks coming up throught the year on various aspects of Shakespeare and theatre, more dates to follow.

To find out when other Shakespeare events at Wellington City Libraries are coming up, go to Shakespeare lives at the library

Celebrate the bard’s birthday


Well it’s Shakespeare’s big day on Saturday 23 April and here at Central Library we have gone in to full Shakespeare mode. There is no less than three displays, and of course a number of books, DVDs and eLibrary audiobooks and eBooks you can borrow.

There’s also Shakespeare school holiday events throughout the next week, and Pop-up Shakespeare on Saturday, with actors roaming around the library acting out scenes from some of the plays, and there is still one more Shakespeare themed film night left this month. There are more events yet to come so keep a watch on this space

Meanwhile check out the following displays at Central Library;

Who knew the books in the 1600's were this big? Just kidding, it's not actual size (more like a giant's copy).
Who knew the books in the 1600’s were this big? Just kidding, it’s not actual size (more like a giant’s copy).


The witches from that Scottish play are brewing up trouble in the Children's area.
The witches from that Scottish play are brewing up trouble in the Children’s area.


The first floor has a model of the Globe theatre and a section of The Long View.
The first floor has a model of the Globe theatre and a section of The Long View.


A model of the Globe theatre stage, did you know that New Zealand made the hangings for the reconstructed Globe theatre that opened in 1997?
A model of the Globe theatre stage, did you know that New Zealand made the hangings for the reconstructed Globe theatre that opened in 1997?


Shakespeare7 Shakespeare6


And here is a selection of all the books and DVDs you can borrow.

Shakespeare lives at the library

Shakespeare lives at the library small banner23 April 2016 marks the anniversary of Shakespeare’s death… and possibly his birth! To celebrate, Wellington City Libraries will be hosting two events at the Central Library, open to all:

On Wednesday 20 April 12.30-1.30pm, come and listen to Raymond Boyce talk about Shakespeare in London, and learn more about Shakespeare’s involvement in London’s life and its theatres.

About the speaker:
Raymond Boyce, MBE, Hon LitD, a Patron of Shakespeare Globe Centre NZ, designed the Globe Theatre Hangings made by 500 New Zealand craftswomen for Shakespeare’s Globe in London. There is almost no aspect of the New Zealand stage that Raymond Boyce has not touched upon. Over his 50 year professional career he has designed, directed, produced, acted and administered over 200 productions and was involved in establishing the country’s professional ballet, opera and community theatres. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Arts and the Old Vic Theatre School in the UK and in 1953 was invited to New Zealand by Richard Campion to be a resident designer to the New Zealand Players. Dr Boyce has been honoured with an MBE, received the prestigious Governor-General Art Award, an Honorary Doctorate from Victoria University and, in 2007, was created an Arts Icon by the Arts Foundation of NZ.

On Saturday 23 April 3pm-4pm, we will be celebrating Shakespeare’s life and work by welcoming the Pop-Up Shakespeare appearance by Lord Lackbeards theatre troupe. They  will performing scenes from selected plays in different parts of the library, interacting with the audience, much in the way actors would have performed at the time of Shakespeare. Come and mingle in the Central Library and experience Shakespeare live!

Designers’ Edit: new fashion and beauty books for September

This month, we have a special edit for budding fashion designers. We have guides to putting together your own all-important fashion portfolio, insights into designing costumes for film and theatre, a beautiful book of fashion swatches, as well as an insider’s view of the iconic Parsons fashion school, home to Project Runway. Or if fashion consumption rather than fashion study is more your thing, check out our other selections – a glossy volume on international men’s street style, a biography on the driving force behind Avon and a limited-edition volume all about the fashion collection of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Syndetics book coverMen in this town : London, Tokyo, Sydney, Milan, New York / Giuseppe Santamaria.
“From the streets of the leading fashion cities around the world, photographer, art director and blogger Giuseppe Santamaria brings together a striking photographic collection showcasing the styles of the modern man. In each city he visits, Giuseppe seeks out the man whose dress sense speaks volumes about who he is, sharing looks that will be a source of inspiration to readers. Alongside the varied sartorial tastes captured on the streets, Giuseppe chooses a handful of men from each city who have particularly caught his attention, photographing them in various attires and interviewing them on their individual approach to fashion. With cutting-edge, street style photography, Men in This Town is an exploration of the current menswear scene across the world’s most fashionable cities.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeauty queen : inside the reign of Avon’s Andrea Jung / Deborrah Himsel.
“Himsel (Leadership Sopranos Style), former vice-president of global organization effectiveness at Avon, takes on the story of former Avon CEO Andrea Jung, who resigned in 2011 in a blaze of scandal. At her peak, Jung was considered one of the finest leaders of the early 21st century; former colleague Himsel believes that her career constitutes the perfect leadership case study. Using her own experience and interviews with those who knew her, Himsel narrates Jung’s rise at Avon at a time when the direct sales channel model was viewed as old-fashioned. She then covers Jung’s initial success, her reshaping of the company’s image and mission, difficulties that arose, and her ultimate downfall. ” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverThe school of fashion : 30 Parsons designers / Simon Collins.
“For over a century, Parsons The new school for design has been synonymous with the best in American fashion, fostering creative talent and pushing the boundaries of style around the world. The staggering influence of the schools many successful alumni has created a legacy that has only grown in scale and scope over the decades. This illustrated volume explores that legacy through the testimony of its brightest stars, with interviews and exclusive archival sketches from Donna Karan, Alexander Wang, Jack McCullough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, and many others.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFashion portfolio : design and presentation / Anna Kiper.
“From finding inspiration to creating the final collection, this is the complete guide to putting together an attention-grabbing fashion portfolio. It follows the entire design process, covering research, quick sketches, silhouettes, mood boards, garment details, textiles, fabric manipulation, and draping experimentation. In addition to samples from professional sketchbooks, established fashion and accessories designers offer their personal insights on the job’s highlights and challenges. A beautiful and practical book that helps readers get inside the designer’s mind” –

Syndetics book coverThe fashion swatch book / Marnie Fogg.
“This exhaustive sourcebook book presents the most eye-catching and important pieces from an array of more than 100 of the world’s fashion designers. Covering both contemporary and classic designs, it sets a new benchmark in the world of fabric design. Alphabetically arranged by designer, around 1,300 images illustrate the huge variety of swatches. Marnie Fogg introduces each fashion house and guides the reader through their particular approach to textile design and production. With unprecedented access behind the scenes of some of the most important manufacturers, the final section of the book displays informative step-by-step photographs of the working techniques behind both modern and classic fabric manufacturing.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDesigning costume for stage and screen / Deirdre Clancy.
“In this comprehensive and beautifully illustrated volume, accomplished costume designer Deirdre Clancy draws from over-40 years of experience to show how to design costume for stage and screen. All budgets and practicalities are considered, so whether you are a student, or a designer for the stage or screen, this book has advice from one of the best in the business. The entire design process is explained, with drawings and tips throughout starting with how you go about researching and designing, to communicating with the audience, designing on paper and with Photoshop or on an iPad, and how best to share your ideas. All the different strands of costume design from period costume through to contemporary clothes are covered with authenticity and feasibility in mind, so that the final costume is the perfect fit for the actor’s role.” –

Syndetics book coverFashion designers : the collection of the Museum at FIT / text by Valerie Steele ; foreword by Suzy Menkes ; with contributions by Fred Dennis… [et al.] ; and illustrations by Robert Nippoldt.
“From Azzedine Alaïa, Cristóbal Balenciaga, and Coco Chanel, to Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, and Vivienne Westwood, a century’s worth of fashion greats from the permanent collection of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology are celebrated in this limited-edition volume. Photographs of over 500 garments selected from the Museum’s permanent collection illuminate each of the featured designers, while texts by the curators explain why each designer is important in fashion history and what is special about the individual pieces featured.” – adapted from

Win tickets to National Theatre Live’s War Horse

War Horse

In anticipation for National Theatre’s War Horse we have TWO seats to Wellington’s preview screening on Monday 17th March, 6:00pm at Penthouse Cinema. This includes a meal break at the intermission.

For your chance to win just share this post on Facebook or retweet it on Twitter! The winner will be announced on the morning of Friday March 14th.

War Horse is in New Zealand cinemas from Wednesday March 26th.

Since its first performance at the National Theatre in 2007, War Horse has become an international smash hit. Based on Michael Morpurgo’s novel and adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford, War Horse takes audiences on an extraordinary journey from the fields of rural Devon to the trenches of First World War France. At its heart are astonishing lifesized puppets by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, who bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage.

Click here for more information on the National Theatre film or here to view Wellington City Libraries holdings of Michael Morpurgo’s book.


Craft, it’s not just about fibres, paper and glue, but also indulges in the hard stuff.  Metals that have been beaten into panels, rolled into sheets extruded into wires and drops of solder to hold stuff together.  This post is a product of wire, consecutive loops conjoined to form chain mail that can be presented as adornment or battle dress. You probably could use #8 fencing wire if you wanted to make a colloquial statement.  Wearable Arts ideas anyone?
So break out your pliers and try your hand at a technique over 2000 years old.

Sources on library shelves vary from the practical instruction manual to visual inspiration and ideas for utilising other media.   Anticraft : knitting, beading, and stitching for the slightly sinisteroffers clear instructions in chain-mail creation.  The instructions in the back of the book can be adapted for any form you choose to assemble.
The authors have also posted more information online about chain-mail.

Chain mail jewelry is on order, so get your reserve in and be the new kid on the block with chain mail creations.   This book offers techniques and designs for links, which brings us neatly to the next book title: Links.  These techniques might be incorporated in something you’re creating that evokes the days of yore.  In fact the name chainmail dates back to the gothic revival of the Victorian era (thank you Wikipedia).

If you want some visual inspiration for a revival of your own there are some great resources to dip your senses in. The Medieval World Complete.   Another great source of visual kicks is Princely Feasts and Festivals; this portrayal of mind blowing  extravagance is worth a peek.
Often the look of an item, the visual impact doses the viewer with a package of era specific resonance.  Stage costuming often relies on audience perception rather than dutiful replication.  Piecework magazine, the January/February 2010 ‘Historical Knitting Issue’ has an article on knitting for the stage which includes a pattern for a short chain-mail hood or coif.  There’s more info on theatrical costuming and other chain-mail creations through our Ebsco databases: MasterFILE Premier.  Searching with the keywords “chain mail” brings up links to articles on mesh purses from the 1800’s to 1960’s iconic dresses.

Let us know if these ideas inspire you or if you’ve found other sources through the library for chain mail or other metal crafting. Ever seen those suitcases made from re-purposed cans?…They’re clever!