United Kingdom, Cambridge

Shakespeare Summer Programme

when 5 August 2018 - 18 August 2018
language English
duration 2 weeks

This programme offers a rich collection of courses, lectures, readings and acting workshops. You can explore the power, beauty, and meaning of Shakespeare's plays with leading academics; discover connections with the wider world of Elizabethan culture; and explore aspects of performance.

The academic programme
• Four courses (two per week)
• Series of plenary lectures: Transitions
• Evening talks

Programme description
Expert Course Directors and lecturers combine the Cambridge tradition of close attention to the text with an alertness to questions of performance which is so vital in approaching Shakespeare. They will engage the experience and the response of participants, whose enthusiasm, openness and curiosity give the programme its unique atmosphere. Some courses will focus on specific plays, some will address recurring themes and others will be actor-led workshops centering on performance.

"The intellectual excitement these courses generate is a joy to share."
Dr Fred Parker, Programme Director, Shakespeare Summer Programme


You choose one morning and one afternoon course per week, each has five sessions. The maximum class size is 25 participants. You can write one essay per course for evaluation.

Week 1 (5 – 11 August)
9.15am – 10.45am
Ra1 - The comedy of love: A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night
Ra2 - The green-eyed monster: jealousy
Ra3 - Coriolanus
Ra4 - The Tempest in performance

2.00pm – 3.30pm
Sa1 - As You Like It in performance
Sa2 - Retelling old stories: Antony and Cleopatra and Pericles
Sa3 - Shakespeare's mislabelled plays: Troilus and Cressida, Measure for Measure and All's Well That Ends Well
Sa4 - Deeds and consequences in Macbeth

Week 2 (12 – 18 August)
9.15am – 10.45am
Rb1 - Hamlet
Rb2 - Staging sexuality
Rb3 - Falstaff
Rb4 - Shakespeare's Venice: The Merchant of Venice and Othello

2.00pm – 3.30pm
Sb1 - As You Like It in performance
Sb2 - Wonder in the early Comedies: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Comedy of Errors and Love's Labour's Lost
Sb3 - Shakespeare's first tetralogy: King Henry VI, Parts 1-3 and Richard III
Sb4 - Nature and justice in King Lear

Plenary lectures
Between the old order and a new modernity, hierarchy and individualism, faith and scepticism, Shakespeare's world was in transition, and his works are acutely responsive to this cultural moment. Fluid identities, shifts in genre, slippage between viewpoints, and metamorphoses of all kinds will come into focus in these lectures.

Evening talks
Eminent speakers will present a variety of general interest talks. These are shared with students on our other programmes.

Course leader

Dr Fred Parker

Target group

We welcome applications from all adult learners including university students, professionals and those with other experience who have an interest in the subject, regardless of educational background.

Credits info

The University of Cambridge does not use a credit system for the awarding of its internal degrees, and cannot award credit directly for its International Summer Programmes. Students wishing to obtain credit as a result of our evaluation should consult their own institutions in advance about the acceptability of the Summer Programmes evaluation for credit purposes.

Fee info

GBP 0: See official website