Three people holding copies of Shakespeare plays
SHAKESPEARE IN THE SPOTLIGHT: (L to R) Shakespeare Club Secretary and longest-serving member Fay Walters, President Neryl Quilty, and Library Services Manager Christine Bolton, enjoy the banter of the Bard at Wagga Wagga City Library.


Wagga Wagga’s Shakespeare Club back in the spotlight

Published: 19 Apr 2024 11:49am

Shakespeare once wrote that “love shall in my verse remain forever young,” and if the thriving nature of Wagga Wagga’s world-famous Shakespeare Club – about to celebrate its 120th anniversary this July – is anything to go by, then no truer words were ever writ.

At the Wagga Wagga City Library this week, Club President Neryl Quilty and Secretary Fay Walters, the club's longest-serving member, were thrilled to discuss the renewed spotlight on the club, with recent media coverage highlighting anew its claim as the world's oldest continuing Shakespeare reading group, after it was first established in 1904.

The attention has also showcased the Club’s growing membership, and the diversity of those joining the Wednesday afternoon crowd of Shakespeare enthusiasts.

Ms Quilty noted that “while performance of his plays is a wonderful endeavour, for other fans of Shakespeare’s work, celebrating the beauty of his words alone, is enough.”

“We are encouraged by the current membership, particularly the young people now coming along, and the men who have joined what was once a space exclusive to the middle class, ‘hat-and-glove ladies who lunch’,” she added.

Ms Walters echoed this enthusiasm, stating “we are so pleased to continue partnering with the Library. It provides such a modern, inclusive space where anyone can feel welcome to come along and enjoy Shakespeare’s timeless words.”

Library Services Manager Christine Bolton expressed the Library's joy in continuing to support the Club, through its provision of a meeting space.

“It is remarkable that Wagga Wagga claims the longest continuously running Shakespeare reading club in the world,” Ms. Bolton said.

“We are delighted the Library has been the club’s home for the past 10 years and look forward to hosting their meetings for many years to come.”