Digital Theatre +

Digital Theatre Plus has moved to a new platform here.

You can now access a range of exciting new resources on the new Digital Theatre+, including 15 enhanced concise introductions.

In addition to the original specially commissioned essays by leading academics, these accessible and authoritative guides now include a selection of audio-visual and written materials from across DT+ to extend students’ learning and inspire further research. 

Cambridge University Libraries A-Z of e-resources has been updated.

New eresource : National Theatre Collection

Through the support of anonymous donors the University of Cambridge now has full access on and off campus to the National Theatre Collection via this link:

From the collection website:

“Drawing on 10 years of NT Live broadcasts, alongside high-quality recordings never previously seen outside of the NT’s Archive, the National Theatre Collection makes this rich body of work available to students in schools, universities and libraries around the world.

The National Theatre’s mission is to make world class theatre that’s entertaining, challenging and inspiring – and to make it for everyone. It aims to reach the widest possible audience and to be as inclusive, diverse and national as possible with a broad range of productions that play in London, on tour around the UK, on Broadway and across the globe. The National Theatre extends its reach through digital programmes including NT Live, which broadcasts some of the best of British theatre to over 2,500 venues in 65 countries.”


Image of Frankenstein at the National Theatre

Frankenstein (NT) – Childlike in his innocence but grotesque in form, Frankenstein’s bewildered Creature is cast out into a hostile universe by his horror-struck maker. Meeting with cruelty wherever he goes, the friendless Creature, increasingly desperate and vengeful, determines to track down his creator and strike a terrifying deal.


New e-resource: Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) Live Collection

The University of Cambridge now has full access to the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) Live Collection on the Bloomsbury Drama Online platform via this link.

In 2013 the company began live screenings of its Shakespeare productions, captured in The RSC Live Collection. In 2016-17 the company collaborated with Intel and The Imaginarium Studios to stage The Tempest, bringing performance capture to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre for the very first time.

The collection of video films of the most recent RSC productions will support the study of Shakespeare in performance and of drama in general, as well as in the growing area of study in digital performance per se.

Detail of Johann Heinrich Ramberg painting of the Tempest – Stephano, Trinculo and Caliban

The Royal Shakespeare Company creates theatre at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world. The RSC produces an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers

Samuel Beckett in Drama online

The stage plays of Samuel Beckett are now live on Drama Online.

Without Beckett the study of twentieth-century and contemporary theatre would be incomplete; his work brought to the European theatre a new form of drama, one which demanded a new criticism, a new acting style and a new aesthetics. Throughout a long and ultimately successful writing career, Beckett astounded and challenged his audiences as he refined and reinvented modern theatre practice.

Nineteen plays are provided from Beckett’s oeuvre; from the paradigm-shifting first success of Waiting for Godot to Endgame and Krapp’s Last Tape.

Making the announcement, Henry Volans, Director of Faber Press writes: ‘Faber and Faber first published Waiting for Godot in 1956 and has been the home of Samuel Beckett’s plays for more than half a century. The Nobel Prize-winning author is responsible for some of the most important and enduring late modernist works of fiction, drama and poetry, and it is a privilege to be able to bring these works into Drama Online, where they will be available to readers and students of literature and drama for years to come.’

Shakespeare’s Globe on Screen

The English Faculty Library and the University Library are delighted to announce the availability online of the Drama Online “Shakespeare Globe on Screen” collection.

Access the collection via the Drama online platform here.

The Globe’s Artistic Director, Dominic Dromgoole says, “We are thrilled to have our productions used as an example of world-class Shakespeare in performance by Drama Online. Sharing the pure and simple joy of seeing Shakespeare in the theatre he wrote for with as many people as possible is in our DNA, which is why we were the first theatre in the world to create its own on-demand video platform, Globe Player. In Drama Online, Bloomsbury and Faber & Faber have created a fantastic portal for students, and we’re delighted that Globe productions will be some of the first video content on offer there.”

Plays are listed here and identified by a video icon next to them.  Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, The Comedy of Errors and Titus Andronicus will be available in 2016.

All’s Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare centres on the tale of Helena’s quest to marry the man she loves. The production, directed by John Dove, stars Sam Crane and Ellie Piercy as Bertram and Helena, and includes performances by James Garnon as troublemaker Parolles and Janie Dee as Bertram’s interfering mother, the Countess of Roussillon. With lavish staging and costume, the production is a triumph that, according to The Independent, ‘leaves the audience reeling with happiness by the end.’ Run time: 166 mins

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare with John Light, Pearce Quigley, Michelle Terry, Luke Thompson and Matthew Tennyson. Hermia loves Lysander and Helena loves Demetrius but Demetrius is supposed to be marrying Hermia… When the Duke of Athens tries to enforce the marriage, the lovers take refuge in the woods and wander into the midst of a dispute between the king and queen of the fairies. Shakespeare put some of his most dazzling dramatic poetry at the service of this teasing, glittering, hilarious and amazingly inventive play, whose seriousness is only fleetingly glimpsed beneath its dreamlike surface. Run time: 172 mins

As You Like It by William Shakespeare starring Brendon Hughes, Jack Laskey, Trevor Martin, Jamie Parker and Naomi Frederick. Thea Sharrock’s irresistible production of Shakespeare’s popular romantic comedy stirs wit, sentiment, intrigue and love into a charming confection which challenges the traditional rules of romance. Run time: 147 mins

Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe. Famous for being the first dramatized version of the Faustus tale, the play depicts the sinister aftermath of Faustus’s decision to sell his soul to the Devil’s henchman in exchange for power and knowledge. In the first-ever staging of this menacing drama at the Globe Theatre, Matthew Dunster’s production features Paul Hilton as the arrogant, power-hungry Faustus and Arthur Darvill as the sardonic Mephistopheles, and includes several impressive magical stunts along the way. Run time: 166

Henry IV Part 1 by William Shakespeare. The first instalment of what is widely acknowledged to be Shakespeare’s greatest historical saga, Henry IV Part 1 is an epic tale of power, treachery and war, exploring the complexity of father-son relationships. Featuring an Olivier Award-winning performance from Roger Allam as Falstaff, the comical mentor to Jamie Parker’s Prince Hal, this is a celebrated presentation of the English classic, expertly directed by Dominic Dromgoole. Run time: 171 mins

Henry IV Part 2 by William Shakespeare. Dominic Dromgoole’s acclaimed Olivier Award-winning production is brought to its conclusion in Part 2 of Shakespeare’s historical masterpiece. Henry IV is a thrilling tale of family, treachery and war that surveys the entire panorama of English life. Staged with ‘terrific aplomb’ (Daily Telegraph) and featuring a stellar line-up, this magnificent Globe Theatre performance showcases some of the Bard’s deftest dramatic skill, and confirms why Henry IV is regarded as one of Shakespeare’s finest works. Run time: 177 mins

Henry V by William Shakespeare Capped by one of the most famous speeches ever written, King Henry V recalls the momentous English victory at Agincourt. With comic sub-plots to be found among Henry’s soldiers, the production boasts some terrific performances including Sam Cox as the ‘splendidly unhinged’ Pistol (Telegraph). In the title role is Jamie Parker, who ‘casts such a rapt spell that you feel the entire audience would rise up to march behind him.’ (Independent). Run time: 164 mins

Henry VIII by William Shakespeare is one of Shakespeare’s final plays, a political thriller based on the power struggle between the Tudor court and the eponymous king’s ambitious first minister, Cardinal Wolsey. Mark Rosenblatt’s spectacular 2010 production was the Globe Theatre’s first staging of the historical drama since 1613. Featuring stellar performances from Dominic Rowan, Miranda Raison and Anthony Howell, it bursts with intrigue. Run time: 161 mins

Love’s Labour’s Lost by William Shakespeare with Philip Cumbus, Trystan Gravelle, William Mannering and Jack Farthing. Using every kind of verbal gymnastics to poke fun, Shakespeare’s most intellectual comedy is brought to hilarious life in Dominic Dromgoole’s highly entertaining production, rich in visual humour and sexual innuendo. Run time: 167 mins.

Macbeth by William Shakespeare featuring Joseph Millson, Samantha Spiro, Stuart Bowman, Billy Boyd, Gawn Grainger. When three witches tell Macbeth that he is destined to occupy the throne of Scotland, he and his wife choose to become the instruments of their fate and to kill the first man standing in their path, the virtuous King Duncan. But to maintain his position, Macbeth must keep on killing. From its mesmerising first moments to the last fulfilment of the witches’ prophecy, Shakespeare’s gripping account of the profoundest engagement with the forces of evil enthrals the imagination. Run time: 150 mins

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare contrasts the happiness of lovers Claudio and Hero, and the cynicism of sparring partners Beatrice and Benedick, who are united in their scorn for love. Marking the debut of director Jeremy Herrin at the Globe Theatre, this production features Eve Best as the feisty and high-spirited Beatrice and Charles Edwards as her cynical counterpart, Benedick. Run time: 166 mins.

Othello by William Shakespeare featuring Eamonn Walker and Tim McInnerny. One of Shakespeare’s most exciting, atmospheric and heart breaking plays. This is a tale of uncontrollable jealousy, deception and murder driven by one of theatre’s greatest villains. Run time: 180 mins.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare with Adetomiwa Edun, Ellie Kendrick, Philip Cumbus, Penny Layden, Rawiri Paratene Dominic Dromgoole’s production brings refreshing clarity to one of Shakespeare’s most famous and best-loved tragedies, drawing out the contemporary relevance of this passionate teenage love story. Run time: 171 mins

The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare with Christopher Benjamin, Serena Evans, Sarah Woodward, Nathan Amzi, Gareth Armstrong and William Belchambers. The only one of Shakespeare’s plays to be set within his own class and country, this critically-acclaimed production was described by the Daily Telegraph as `brimming with humanity, ingenuity and irresistible charm’. Run time: 145 mins

The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare tells the tale of the sharp-tongued Kate, who must marry before her younger sister, Bianca, is allowed to find a suitor. Undaunted by her waspish reputation, Petruccio attempts to woo the not-so-fair maiden, but is faced with a tirade of poisonous insults. Samantha Spiro stars as cantankerous Kate, capable of knocking a grown man down with her fist. With a stellar supporting cast, the production is a triumph, thanks to its ‘riotous mixture of verbal dexterity and slapstick’ (The Daily Telegraph). Run time: 167 mins

The Tempest by William Shakespeare. Prospero, Duke of Milan, usurped and exiled by his own brother, holds sway over an enchanted island. He is comforted by his daughter Miranda and served by his spirit Ariel and his deformed slave Caliban. When Prospero raises a storm to wreck this perfidious brother and his confederates on the island, his long contemplated revenge at last seems within reach. Run time: 161 mins.

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. Under the direction of Tim Carroll the hilarious tale of misdirection and deception is performed here by an all-male cast, among whom we find Mark Rylance as Olivia and Roger Lloyd-Pack as Sir Anthony Aguecheek. The production also marks Stephen Fry’s triumphant return to the stage as the pompous Malvolio. Run time: 164 mins


Donmar Warehouse Study Guides


The Donmar Warehouse offers freely available behind the scenes study guides to some of their productions. The guides offer background information to the playwrights and the play as well as detailing the process of putting on productions at the Donmar.

“For each of our productions, we create an exclusive Behind the Scenes guide, providing a unique look at the enormous amount of work and creativity that goes into producing a Donmar show. These guides include interviews, rehearsal diaries, production photography, information about the play and playwright, and much, much more. We also include exercises for use by students and teachers at the back of every guide.”

Click on the images below to take e look at some of the guides.

Philadelphia-CTA   RichardII

CTALuiseMiller    AStreetcarCTA

Coriolanus    Henry IV CTA


Nick Hern Book Collection on Drama Online

The English Faculty Library and the University Library are delighted to announce the acquisition from joint funding of the Nick Hern Book Collection to the Drama Online resource.

The collection, which features titles by some of the best UK, Irish and international playwrights working today, adds hundreds of plays from Nick Hern Books.  The Collection includes:

*                    Modern classics from Howard Brenton, Jez Butterworth, Caryl Churchill, David Edgar, Helen Edmundson, Liz Lochhead, Conor McPherson, Rona Munro, Enda Walsh and Nicholas Wright

*                    Titles from the popular Drama Classics series, including foreign works in translation from Nikolai Gogol, Alfred Jarry, Molière and more

*                    Fifteen plays by leading twentieth-century dramatist Terence Rattigan, each with an authoritative critical introduction

*                    New writing from exciting contemporary dramatists such as Mike Bartlett, Alecky Blythe, Alexi Kaye Campbell, Vivienne Franzmann, debbie tucker green, Ella Hickson, Lucy Kirkwood, Nina Raine, Jack Thorne and Tom Wells

Drama Online introduces new writers alongside the most iconic names in playwriting history,
providing contextual and critical background through scholarly works and practical guides. Unique Play Tools with Character Grids, Words and Speech graphs and Part Books offer a new way to engage with plays for close study or for performance.

The Drama Online library features the pre-eminent theatre lists of Methuen Drama, the Arden Shakespeare, Faber and Faber and Nick Hern Books, as well as production photos from the Victoria and Albert Museum and The American Shakespeare Center and audio plays from L.A. Theatre Works.

Girton’s orchard. Ralph waits leaning against a tree. Tess appears. It’s dark and very quiet. She creeps to one tree. He creeps to another. She moves in the shadows from tree to tree, becoming increasingly anxious.

Ralph Well, Miss Moffat, it’s a pleasure to meet you properly.

Tess You too.

Ralph Ralph Mayhew. ‘Esquire.’

They shake hands rather formally. Beat.

Well, this is rather unconventional, isn’t it. I probably should have asked you to a clarinet concert, not to some spooky orchard.

Tess It is a bit.

Ralph Isn’t it! (Ghostily.) Woooo! Look, please forgive me, I hope you don’t mind; I thought I might – read you something.

Tess Oh. Here?

Ralph Yes. But I’m not very literary, so it might be disastrous.

Tess I doubt that.

Ralph It’s a poem. But it’s… actually, maybe I shouldn’t.

Tess No, please do.

He takes a slip of paper out, looks at it.

Ralph I really don’t know –

Tess Go on.

Ralph Alright. It’s a love poem.

Tess Oh.

Ralph It’s called A Lady who is fair

Tess Right.



Provedi, saggio, ad esta visïone,

e per mercé ne trai vera sentenza.

Dico: una donna di bella fazone,

di cu’ el meo cor gradir molto s’agenza.

mi fe’ d’una ghirlanda donagione,

verde, fronzuta, con bella accoglienza.


Tess Well that was –

Ralph That’s not the end.

Tess Oh. Right.


 Appresso mi trovai per vestigione

camicia di suo dosso, a mia parvenza.

Allor di tanto, amico, mi francaiche

dolcemente presila abbracciare.

Pause.  That’s the end.

Tess Well! Well. That was quite beautiful. Thank you. What does it mean?

Ralph (doesn’t know Italian) Well, it’s about a lady… who is fair… and she, well, she… it’s very… (Pause.) You know, Italian’s not really my forte. I’m a scientist. Maybe next time I’ll show you an experiment.

Tess I should like that.

Ralph Or I could write you a paper on Kepler.

Tess How do you know I like Kepler?

Ralph Your book, in the library.

Tess So you knew I was an astronomer!

Ralph I was impressed.

Tess You don’t think it’s unfeminine?

Ralph Anyone who can make head or tail of Kepler deserves a medal in my book. I’m using my copy as a doorstop. I think you being here – ladies studying – well, it’s grand.

From Blue Stockings, Act 1, Scene 9, The Garden of Eden by Jessica Swale

Drama Online

We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.

From ‘Rosencrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead’ by Tom Stoppard.

Following a success trial period we would like to announce that access to Drama Online has been acquired for members of the University of Cambridge. Drama Online is an award-winning resource aimed at literature, theatre and drama students.

Drama OnlineThe collection includes scripts to for over 1200 plays, including plays by Henrik Ibsen, Noel Coward, Aeschylus, Yasmina Reza, Tom Stoppard, Sue Townsend and Bertolt Brecht. The scripts can be viewed online, searched by Act or by keyword or printed.

The plays can be found by searching for the title, by genre, by period or by playwright. Each playwright has a biography and a list on plays available to view.


This video gives a quick overview of the resource:

Drama Online

Trial access is available now until 28 June 2015 to the Drama Online resource.

Drama Online can be accessed on and off campus via this link.

Drama Online introduces new writers alongside the most iconic names in playwriting history, providing contextual and critical background through scholarly works and practical guides.

Please send your feedback to  Thank you.


Then, if you love your wife, or rather dote on her, sir, oh, how she’ll torture you and take pleasure i’ your torments! You shall lie with her but when she lists; she will not hurt
her beauty, her complexion; or it must be for that jewel or that pearl when she does; every half hour’s pleasure must be bought anew, and with the same pain and charge you
wooed her at first. Then you must keep what servants she please, what company she will; that friend must not visit you without her license; and him she loves most she will
seem to hate eagerliest, to decline your jealousy; or feign to be jealous of you first, and for that cause go live with her she-friend or cousin at the college, that can instruct her in
all the mysteries of writing letters, corrupting servants, taming spies; where she must have that rich gown for such a great day, a new one for the next, a richer for the third; be served in silver; have the chamber filled with a succession of grooms, footmen, ushers, and other messengers, besides embroiderers, jewellers, tire-women, sempsters, feathermen, perfumers; while she feels not how the land drops away, nor the acres melt, nor foresees the change when the mercer has your woods for her velvets; never weighs what her pride costs, sir, so she may kiss a page or a smooth chin that has the despair of a beard; be a states
, know all the news; what was done at Salisbury, what at the Bath, what at court, what in progress; or so she may censure poets and authors and styles, and compare

’em, Daniel with Spenser, Jonson with the tother youth, and so forth; or be thought cunning in controversies or the very knots of divinity, and have often in her mouth the state of the question, and then skip to the mathematics and demonstration, and answer in religion to one, in state to another, in bawdry to a third.

Oh, oh!

All this is very true, sir. And then her going in disguise to that conjuror and this cunning woman, where the first question is, how soon you shall die? next, if her present servant love her? next that, if she shall have a new servant? and how many? which of her family would make the best bawd, male or female? what precedence she shall have by her next match? And sets down the answers, and believes ‘em above the scriptures. Nay, perhaps she’ll study the art.

Gentle sir, ha’ you done? Ha’ you had your pleasure o’ me?
I’ll think of these things.

yes, sir; and then comes reeking home of vapour and sweat with going afoot, and lies in a month of a new face, all oil and birdlime, and rises in asses’ milk, and is cleansed with a new fucus. God b’ w’ you, sir. One thing more, which I had almost forgot. This too, with whom you are to marry may have made a conveyance of her virginity aforehand, as
your wise widows do of their states, before they marry, in trust to some friend, sir. Who can tell? Or if she have not done it yet, she may do, upon the wedding day, or the night
before, and antedate you cuckold. The like has been heard of in nature. ‘Tis no devised, impossible thing, sir. God b’ w’ you. I’ll be bold to leave this rope with you, sir, for a
remembrance.—Farewell, Mute.



Digital Theatre Plus

The University of Cambridge now has access to the e-resource Digital Theatre Plus.

Digital Theatre Plus captures the moments before the curtain rises and after the curtain falls, providing valuable insight into the play making process. We share the hidden drama of the weeks, days, and hours before ‘lights up’ on stage. By revealing the world of the rehearsal room, dressing room, backstage and beyond, our documentaries and interviews introduce theatre as a vibrant, exciting art form through a familiar and accessible medium.

On 13th November Digital Theatre Plus launched a collection of full-length productions from Shakespeare’s Globe. The first title in the collection is ‘Romeo and Juliet (directed by Dominic Dromgoole and starring Ellie Kendrick and Adetomiwa Edun as the title characters, seen in the image above). The next productions to be added to the collection will be ‘As You Like It‘ and ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’.

Other Collections that are available are: Gran Treatre del Liceu, Royal Opera House, Broadway Digital Archive and National Jewish Theater.

MacbethThe resource allows to you watch key scenes and speeches, and full productions, in high-definition, as well as providing detailed study guides that give information on the story, characters, context and people behind the productions. The study guides are written by

There are also filmed interviews with producers, directors, writers and more giving an insight into what goes in to getting a production to the stage and careers in the theatre.

Why not try the e-resource out? A film version of Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Into the Woods’ will be released in cinemas on 25th December. Digital Theatre Plus offers you a full performance of ‘Into the Woods’ recorded at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre so you can watch the fairytale characters go into the woods each time they head offstage. There are detailed guides on the music, lyrics and book of Sondheim’s ‘classic’ musical.

Or maybe you would like to know what Doctor Who and his assistant would look like performing Shakespeare? Digital Theatre Plus has the full performance of the 2011 West End production of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ starring David Tennant as Benedick and Catherine Tate as Beatrice. Here’s a snippet from the Evening Standard review of this production:

Once a sparky double act in Doctor Who, David Tennant and Catherine Tate are reunited here in an effervescent interpretation of this pacy, sexy Shakespeare comedy.

Their chemistry is vibrant, and as the habitually bickering Beatrice and Benedick they spar with a lovely zing.

Director Josie Rourke, who next year takes over at the Donmar Warehouse, demonstrates her increasing aptitude for working with large casts and hallowed texts. Set in the Eighties at a naval base in Gibraltar, her production of this play about rumour, honour and deception ripples with originality.

Digital Theatre Plus is available via this link on or off campus and can be accessed also from the eresources@cambridge pages.


Note: this resource may initially identify you as being part of Edinburgh University. This is being looked into and is just a labelling issue as you will have been identified as being a part of the University of Cambridge via your Raven login.