Crewkerne & District U3A’s inaugural season of Culture Bites, ended with a master class of Shakespearean detective work presented by Ann Sutherland Cooke. The weekly lectures on the Art Of, at the George Reynolds Centre, began in March with John Bartholomew presenting a talk on the Art of Opera. Other guest speakers, who joined the five week series, included Simon Moore on the Arts & Crafts of Silversmiths, Miles Barton on the Art of Portraiture and Matthew Denny on William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Before the final curtain came down on the successful series, Ann Sutherland Cooke explained to the audience how to identify clues in the plots of two Shakespearean tragedies, Macbeth and Othello. Ann said: “Macbeth reigned as a good and effective king of the Scots for 17 years in the 11th Century. Shakespeare’s version of the true story bears little resemblance to the reality, but he needed a money-spinning play that would please King James 1. Macbeth was tailor made, with the character of Banquo, from whom the king claimed he was a descendant and the three witches.”

Illustrating the role of Lago in Othello, Ann used an image of a puppeteer, to demonstrate that he enjoyed manipulating people. The villain’s schemes resulted in Othello killing his newly wed wife Desdemona and then killing himself, when he learnt that she had not been unfaithful to him. Crewkerne & District U3A chairperson Sheila Seymour said: “Ann’s lecture was erudite and comprehensive. I’m delighted that our series of Culture Bites ended on a high note.” (photo taken by Betty Spanswick)

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