Shakespeare is not for hushed playhouses, velvet seats and yawning arts patrons.

Shakespeare is alive. It is bawdy. It is messy. It is energetic. It is entertainment.

Shakespeare has his roots in pubs.

Shakespeare’s first plays were written specifically to be performed in the yards of Elizabethan inns. The players would move from pub to pub and play in the beer gardens, passing around a hat at the end. The plays were quick and lively, with music and clowning.

So one night (funnily enough, after performing a Shakespeare play), we were having a pint and wondered what the experience of seeing Shakespeare in a pub would be like now.

What if a group of great actors took over the beer garden or the band room of a pub for a night of story-telling?

What if instead of going down to the pub to have a pint and hear a band, you went to have a pint or two and watch a bit of Shakespeare? Instead of going to your local for trivia night, you got your mates together to go watch a play?

And so Bar’d Work was born.

Behind Bar’d Work


James Haxby


James is a prolific and versatile actor.A graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts (BA Acting 2013), and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (MA Classical Acting, 2017).Most recently, James has appeared in over 200 performances for Pop Up Globe. He played Oliver in As You Like It and Westmoreland in Henry V during the Melbourne season, and has recently understudied Shylock, Antonio, Gratiano and the Duke in The Merchant of Venice, and Helena, Lysander, Demetrius and the Mechanicals in A Midsummer Nights Dream in the successful Sydney season.

Chris Huntly-Turner


Australian born, Chris completed his actor’s training at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama and has worked extensively in theatre in the UK. As a Co-Artisitic Director of Fledgling Theatre Company, Chris has led the development of its new writing program through two development seasons and established two development ensembles – the original London ensemble and the most recent Sydney creative team. He has worked on theatre education programs, directing productions for youth with behavioural issues (gang violence, drug crime, juvenile detention) as well as directorial work for Fledgling Theatre Company in London and numerous short film projects.

Natalie Lines

Natalie Lines – Producer

Natalie is a British-born independent theatre producer and writer based in Sydney. She has produced Bar’d Work’s sellout Sydney and Melbourne season of Much Ado About Nothing, and Sydney’s Twelfth Night, alongside Fledgling Theatre Company’s Appropriation. She is also an occasional writer, when she’s not at her actual day job.