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: Connections and Conflicts
• 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

Details of our 2017 courses can be found below and are for information only. Our 2018 course list will be available in December.


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

Week 1 (6 – 12 August)
9.15am – 10.45am
Ra1 - Shakespeare: the Sonnets
Ra2 - Romanticising Shakespeare
Ra3 - Vaulting ambition: The Tragedy of Macbeth
Ra4 - Richard III in performance

2.00pm – 3.30pm
Sa1 - Twelfth Night in performance (This is a double course which can only be taken with Sb1.)
Sa2 - King Lear
Sa3 - Supernatural Shakespeare: the nature of romance
Sa4 - Power and wonder in The Tempest

Week 2 (13 – 19 August)
9.15am – 10.45am
Rb1 - Shakespeare's Rome
Rb2 - Coercive Comedies: Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Rb3 - Falstaff!
Rb4 - Shakespeare and the Vice, or Iago and his cousins

2.00pm – 3.30pm
Sb1 - Twelfth Night in performance (This is a double course which can only be taken with Sa1.)
Sb2 - Shakespeare and silence: Titus Andronicus and Othello
Sb3 - The Late Plays and the Blackfriars Theatre
Sb4 - Tyranny and regicide in Richard II

Plenary lectures
These lectures will explore relationships and antagonisms within Shakespeare's plays, make connections between his plays and with the work of other writers and thinkers, and connect Shakespeare's plays with the events, ideas, energies and conflicts of Renaissance culture. Recent previous speakers on this programme include such eminent Shakespeareans as Catherine Alexander, Janet Suzman, and Catherine Belsey, as well as members of the University's Faculty of English.

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.

Course aim


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