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

Shakespeare in Performance

The University of Cambridge now has trial access to the Shakespeare in Performance resource until 10 November 2016.

Access the trial here:

We want to know what you think of this resource.  Is it useful to you; if so, in what way?  Please send us your thoughts and feedback by writing an email to:  Thank you!

Shakespeare in Performance goes behind the scenes to shine a light on how Shakespeare’s plays have been interpreted by theatre companies, actors and directors across the centuries.

The resource features prompt books from the world-famous collection at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC. These prompt books tell the story of Shakespeare’s plays as they were performed in theatres throughout Great Britain, the United States and internationally, between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries.

Scene from Othello withPaul Robeson:

It took more than a decade after his London performance before Robeson played Othello in the United States in a production directed by Margaret Webster for the Theatre Guild that opened at New York’s Shubert Theatre in 1943. Robeson was the first black actor ever seen as Othello in a major production of the play on a US stage. The production opened to almost ecstatic reviews. According to one critic, Robeson was a majestic presence and made Othello “the great and terrible figure of tragedy which he has so rarely been on the stage.” The production ran for nearly a year, making it at the time the longest running Broadway production of Shakespeare. During the 1944/45 season, it went on tour and became a phenomenon seen by practically half a million people. Along with Robeson, the cast included the husband and wife team of Uta Hagen as Desdemona and José Ferrer as a nimbly evil Iago. The excellent cast and outstanding direction were complemented by the costumes of Robert Edmond Jones, who was one of Broadway’s most acclaimed designers. His expressionistic style was marked by the simplicity of form seen in the striking design for Othello’s robe.

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

Framework: the journal of cinema and media

New on THE ejournals@cambridge A-Z : framework: the journal of cinema and media.

From the Wayne State University Press website for the journal:

Framework is an international, peer reviewed journal dedicated to theoretical and historical work on the diverse and current trends in media and film scholarship. The journal’s multicultural coverage, interdisciplinary focus, and the high caliber of its writers contributes to important interconnections between regional cinemas, practioners, academics, critics, and students. Framework is committed to publishing articles from interdisciplinary and global perspectives. “

Now available to the University of Cambridge electronically from volume 47 (2006) to present.

Access Framework via the ejournals@cambridge A-Z or at this link.