Alumni & Friends

Simon Russell Beale Lecture Podcast

Simon Russell Beale Lecture Podcast

Simon Russell Beale delivered his Inaugural Lecture as the Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre on Monday 2 March 2015 at St Catherine's College.


Simon’s Inaugural Lecture, entitled ‘Everything’s remade/With shovel and spade’: Playing Shakespeare with Simon Russell Beale is now available as a Podcast.

Simon appeared in conversation with broadcaster, Libby Purves. He spoke on his distinguished career in the theatre, with a focus on his Shakespearean roles in contemporary theatre.

About Simon Russell Beale

Actor and music historian, Simon Russell Beale has been hailed as ‘the greatest stage actor of his generation’. A graduate of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, his diverse career has spanned theatre, television, film, and radio. He has taken on some of the most distinguished roles in theatre, including the title roles in King Lear at the Olivier Theatre and Hamlet at the Lyttelton Theatre. An Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, his many accolades include a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor in Henry IV Parts I & II and a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in Uncle Vanya. From May to July 2015, Simon will star in Temple, a new play at the Donmar Warehouse about the 2011 United Kingdom anti-austerity protests.

Commenting on his appointment, Simon said ‘I am hugely looking forward to my year as Visiting Professor, and feel very honoured to have been asked. It allows me to indulge, even further, my obsessive interest in Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and I hope that the students I meet will enjoy our working together. I know for certain that I will learn a huge amount.’              

The Master of St Catherine’s College, Professor Roger Ainsworth, said ‘We feel immensely privileged to be welcoming Simon Russell Beale to St Catherine’s, and I am delighted that he has agreed to take on the role of Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre. Simon’s impressive list of stage and screen acting credits span a remarkably diverse career, which has included theatre, television, film, and radio. Our students will be very fortunate indeed to have the opportunity to learn from such a versatile actor.’

About the Cameron Mackintosh Chair of Contemporary Theatre

The Chair of Contemporary Theatre, founded through a grant from the Mackintosh Foundation at St Catherine's College, aims to promote interest in, and the study and practice of, contemporary theatre. The Visiting Professorship has previously been held by actors, writers, directors, and producers including Stephen Fry, Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Miller, Alan Ayckbourn, Richard Eyre, Phyllida Lloyd and Patrick Stewart.


Photo courtesy of Guy Bell:

What Are You Doing Now?

We are very much looking forward to welcoming you back to Catz for your upcoming Degree Day.

In advance of the day, the Master would very much like to know what you have been up to since leaving Catz. Please take a few moments to tell us what you are doing currently, or what your plans are for the near future.

John Simopoulos 1923-2015

The College is deeply saddened to announce that John Simopoulos (BPhil, MA), Emeritus Fellow and Dean of Degrees, died on 4 March 2015 aged 91.

Tutor in Philosophy at St Catherine’s Society from 1953-60, he was a Founding Fellow of St Catherine’s College from 1960, before becoming an Emeritus Fellow upon his retirement in 1988. John served as the College’s Dean of Degrees until his death, a role he performed 'with all the authority of tradition and lightness of youth'.

Varsity Handball Success for Catz

The second Varsity Handball Match between Oxford and Cambridge was held on 31 January 2015 at the University of Cambridge Sports Centre.

Oxford’s men’s and women’s handball teams were both successful in their matches, with the men’s team winning 31 – 24 and the women’s team winning 31 – 21.

Catz student Hege Larsen (2011, Medical Sciences) and Catz alumna Anna-Kristin Kaufmann (2012, Experimental Psychology) both competed on the women’s side.

Bafta Success for Alumnus

Huge congratulations to Catz alumnus, Director James Marsh (1982, English), whose Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything won Outstanding British Film at the Baftas last night!

The film received many Bafta nominations, including Best Film, Outstanding British Film, Best Actor, and Best Actress. Winners were announced at the Bafta Film Awards ceremony, hosted by Stephen Fry, on 8 February 2015. Eddie Redmayne took home the award for Best Actor for his role as Professor Stephen Hawking in the film, which also won the award for best Adapted Screenplay.

Simon Russell Beale to be Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor

We are delighted to announce that Simon Russell Beale is to be the next Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre, based at St Catherine’s College at the University of Oxford. He succeeded Stephen Fry in February 2015 to become the 24th holder of the Professorship. His inaugural lecture will take place on Monday 2 March 2015.

Cameron Mackintosh Inaugural Lecture 2017 - Sir Tom Stoppard

We are delighted to be welcoming Sir Tom Stoppard to St Catz to deliver his inaugural lecture as the 26th holder of the Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professorship in Contemporary Theatre.


Title: Professing

Date: Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Time: 17:00 (NB: Attendees must be seated by 16:45)

Venue: Bernard Sunley Lecture Theatre, St Catherine’s College, Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UJ

Hong Kong Dinner

The Master is delighted to be visiting Hong Kong in March and and looks forward to a special dinner for our Catz community on Thursday, 23 March. The event will take place in the beautiful surroundings of The Hong Kong Club and our very special thanks go to alumnus Wilfred Wong (m. 1976) for kindly hosting the event.


Date: Thursday, 23 March 2017

Time: 7.00pm Drinks · 7.30pm Dinner

Venue: The Hong Kong Club, 1 Jackson Rd, Central, Hong Kong


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