Sixty Second Shakespeare

Two actors in Celestial, a short film made by Anglia Ruskin University students

It’s Shakespeare, but not as you know it. The Globe has released a series of seven short films to coincide with their productions. Each short has been produced by Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) students from Cambridge School of Creative Industries and Cambridge School of Art.

Shakespeare’s Globe and ARU have been exploring how the world’s most famous playwright can inspire, in short form film, in the digital world of 2022. The sixty second Shakespeare films each include some text from one of his original plays, but then jump in bold, imaginative new directions. ARU and Shakespeare’s Globe first collaborated last year, with ARU students producing five films on the theme of climate change, despite challenging Covid restrictions.

The films were released on Shakespeare's Globe’s website and were also promoted on their social media and YouTube channels. The Marvellous Prospero, inspired by The Tempest, has been transplanted from a Mediterranean island to the set of a superhero action movie. Wolsey’s Lament, based on a speech from Henry VIII, is an animated film focusing on migration, while Celestial sends the characters from Much Ado About Nothing on a NASA mission to space.

The collaboration involved ARU students visiting The Globe theatre in London, and director Kevin Bennett working with students on campus. The final films feature high production values and professional actors, including Ekow Quartey and Robert Firth.