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'As YouTube Like It' - it's Shakespeare reimagined

Published: 28 July 2023 at 14:30

A screengrab featuring two men in lab coats from one of the student films

Shakespeare’s Globe releases five short films produced by Anglia Ruskin students

Shakespeare’s Globe has released a series of short films produced by Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) students, each using the text from plays by William Shakespeare to jump in exciting new directions.

The five films are inspired by Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors, As You Like It, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream – this year’s summer productions at Shakespeare’s Globe – and have been launched on the Shakespeare’s Globe website, on YouTube, and across their social media.

Aimed at bringing the plays to life for new audiences, the latest batch of films marks the third year of the collaboration, which has seen students from ARU’s BA (Hons) Film & Television Production course work with the Globe’s Head of Research Dr Will Tosh and theatre director Kevin Bennett to find bold, new ideas and inspiration in texts that are over 400 years old.

ARU student James Hartley, the writer and director of A Midsummer’s Nightmare, said:

“I think that art can only stay as relevant as we enable it to – and allowing these works to exist in these fresh and exciting contexts is the best way to honour the progressive, challenging work that first debuted at Shakespeare’s Globe.”


Dr Will Tosh, the Globe’s Head of Research, said:

“For a third year running the film students at ARU have dazzled with their creativity and ambition. They’ve spun five captivating new stories out of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Comedy of Errors, As You Like It and Macbeth.

“I think the students’ artistic superpower is their ability to zero in on the plays’ most compelling themes, from female friendship to magical metamorphoses, from the power of language to both illuminate and to wound, to the terrifying persistence of guilt and trauma.

Gasp!, Wicked Dreams, Lost From Sea, Dress Rehearsal and A Midsummer’s Nightmare have helped me understand Shakespeare in new ways – and they are stories that prove these students will be film-makers to watch.”

Hans Petch, Senior Lecturer in Film & Television Production at ARU, said:

“Working with Shakespeare's Globe, ARU students have produced a stunning series of films. They are all bold, ambitious, and daringly modern takes on Shakespeare. 

“The five films encompass musicals, horror, comedy and utopian nightmares! We’re thrilled by the way that our students have led this project – the production stars of tomorrow are already setting down markers!”

The five student films are available to watch at: https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/discover/blogs-and-features/2023/06/16/shakespeare-on-film-students-respond-to-our-summer-2023-season/