Picture the scene:
-But soft! What light through yonder breaks?
-Oh yeah, that’s my laptop – I’ve been binge-watching the Bard all night.
An unlikely scenario? Not if the brains behind Shakespeare’s Globe theatre have anything to do with it. They’ve just launched a dedicated video-on-demand platform, the first theatre in the world to do so. Called Globe Player, the site features over 50 HD films of productions at the Globe dating back to 2009, available to rent or buy.
They include As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, Henry IV parts 1 and 2, Much Ado About Nothing, and a 2012 production of Twelfth Night starring Mark Rylance and Stephen Fry. In the next few months they’ll add the 2013 season, including The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Macbeth, which was a directorial debut for The King’s Speech actress Eve Best.
Each filmed version will cost £2.99-£3.99 to rent and an average of £4.99-£7.99 to buy. Globe Player won’t only stream the theatre’s own productions, though: it will also play host to other Shakespeare-centric content, including the documentary A Summer Hamlet, and short films from the New York Shakespeare Exchange’s Sonnet Project.
And, bless their generous Elizabethan souls, over the next few months they’ll also upload more than 100 free interviews about Shakespeare with everyone from Dame Judi Dench to Baz Lurhmann, taken by actors Dan Poole and Giles Terera during the making of their film Muse of Fire.
Dominic Dromgoole, the Globe’s Artistic Director says, ‘The Globe is always looking for bold new ways to take Shakespeare out into the world and share his astonishing plays with as many people as possible. Globe Player will allow us to reach brand new audiences and to make access to our productions simple and seamless for anyone with the internet.’
Image via David Stanley’s Flickr.
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