Shakespeare Shorts

As part of Shakespeare Lives in 2016, British Council produced a selection of exciting, new Shakespeare-inspired short films. 

The Prince of Denmark - a dark comedy inspired by Hamlet. Set in a quintessentially English pub, our young Hamlet returns home from university to find ‘something rotten’ behind the bar. 

Star Cross’d - a contemporary take on Romeo and Juliet by poet, writer and illustrator Laura Dockrill. The film is set on a windswept English beach, where ‘two houses, both alike in common crime’ wage an ice cream war. Will true love win out, over the tutti frutti?

Miranda’s Letter - a tale about mother-daughter relationships, or more often the lack thereof in Shakespeare's work. Inspired by 'The Tempest' and filmed on the beautiful South Devon coast, the film stars Raffey Cassidy as Miranda, and Anne-Marie Duff as the mother.

Adaptation of Macbeth - Lady Macbeth, played by Vicky McClure (known for her role in This is England and Line of Duty), summons up her demons in this soliloquy from Act I, Scene V. 

Adaptation of Act I Scene II from Julius Caesar - the film documents Brutus and his conspirators plotting the assassination of Julius Caesar. It stars Mark Stanley (known for his roles in Game of Thrones and Dickensian) as Brutus and Tony Osoba as Julius Caesar.

Come To Me, Blue for As You Like It - takes inspiration from the songs found in As You Like It, and explores the lifecycle of a romantic relationship reflected in the changing seasons. The film is a musical triptych, which takes our audience on an emotional journey charting the beginning of a relationship through to it’s disintegration.

Twelth Night - SBTV's 'Twelfth Night' sees 5 UK artists; Maverick Sabre, Nego True, NoLay, Eyez and Mic Righteous, produce new lyrics drawing inspiration from Shakespeare's play of the same name. Also featuring an original beat by producer Harry Love, and shot in The Globe's Sam Wanamaker theatre.

A Midsummer Night's Dream - Themes of love, infatuation and distorted reality are explored to create a near future world in which we meet Titania, a bionic woman who’s increasing obsession with herself compels her husband Oberon to make her the subject of his latest experiment. Titania is transported to a virtual world where she engages in a courtship dance with a mysterious figure however, as with the play, in this virtual ‘forest’ not all is as it originally appears…

Dear Mr Shakespeare - Multimedia visual artist Phoebe Boswell has written an original piece, ‘Dear Mister Shakespeare', in which she questions Shakespeare on the inherent racial tensions within his writing of Othello in the 1600s, and how these tensions continue to resonate today. The film, directed by Shola Amoo is a filmic collage of modern black British experience, and follows Othello’s (actor Ashley Thomas aka Bashy) journey as a 'man through time’ 

King Lear Act 2 Scene 4 -  BAFTA nominated director Billy Lumby explores ageing and mental health in his modern retelling of King Lear. The film opens as Lear (Phil Davis: Quadrophenia, Poldark, Vera Drake) is admitted to a care home. As his mental state becomes increasingly erratic, reality around him warps. The film culminates in Lear staggering through a storm, or perhaps in fact the dark wasteland of own his mind.

A Winter's Tale - Adapted by Frank Cottrell Boyce from Shakespeare's 'The Winter's Tale', and starring Joseph Mawle as Leontes (Game of Thrones, Ripper Street, The Passion) the final film in our #ShakespeareLives series uses the otherworldly landscape of Crosby beach and Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ sculptures to create a fantastical modern version of the play.

These films could be shown before a feature or as part of another Shakespeare themed workshop or event. They are available free of charge and for more details, contact

External links