Shakespeare & Marlowe: Tragedies / Shakespeare's Globe

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This collection brings together Globe Theatre productions dating from 2009 to 2014 – during the artistic directorship of Dominic Dromgoole – of five of Shakespeare’s most admired Tragedies along with Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe. Born the same year as Shakespeare, Marlowe was the foremost Elizabethan tragedian of his day and before his untimely death was a great influence on the Bard. Featuring the finest actors and leading directors, this set is part of a project committed to creating ever wider access to this rich cultural heritage. The films in this set capture the unique atmosphere and theatrical space of the Globe Theatre. The exhilarating sense of interaction between the actors on stage and the audience in live performances is exquisitely maintained on screen.


Of individual plays contained herein:

"Shakespeare rarely feels so speedily urgent...Exceptional" (The Independent on Titus Andronicus)

""Is this well done?" a character asks at the end of Shakespeare's tragedy. I'd say that Jonathan Munby's production is, on the whole, extremely well done. It captures the play's cinematic rhythm as one scene dissolves into the next, and also its dreamlike quality..." (The Guardian on Antony and Cleopatra)

"A triumph of spine-tingling spectacle. Director Matthew Dunster conjures in a way that would delight the Prince of Darkness himself." (The Spectator on Doctor Faustus)

"Eve Best's directorial debut is a cracking – at times, terrifying – production of Macbeth." (The Daily Telegraph on Macbeth)

Of the box set:

Here we have five Shakespeare plays labeled "Tragedies" (those that we would classify as "tragedies" in terms of content, such as "The Merchant of Venice" and actually also "The Tempest", are technically found in the "Comedies")—this offers a full range of possibilities...There is an almost endless reservoir of performers to draw on who can handle Shakespeare with ease—mostly (of course not all) extremely precise speakers, especially the older generation who have Shakespeare in their little fingers. They almost breathe with the language, and where pathos is supposed to sound, it also sounds and is part of it. It's part of the easy-going nature of it all.

One must never forget, however, that, despite all apparent directness, it is of course highly stylized theatre. The actors featured here have rarely achieved more than regional fame (there are only a few), but they know how to do their Shakespeare: they step into the roles, and in the "Globe" performances (but only in these) no "interpretation" takes them away from their characters: they play what Shakespeare wrote and do it admirably. They can also fence and fight, dance and sing, move with choreographic precision. This ranges from youthful exuberance that tips into tragedy ("Romeo and Juliet") to the shocking excesses that Shakespeare, in his most extreme play "Titus Andronicus," brought to the stage—truly, he and no one else invented the "theater of cruelty", along with the brutally crude humor that the performance also ruthlessly uses.

The performance is generally in Shakespearean-era costume, a Renaissance style associated with Elizabethan-era paintings, with some differentiation—a handkerchief may appear draped loosely over the shoulder of a Renaissance doublet, and one is in Rome with Julius Caesar. It gets even more colorful with "Antony and Cleopatra", because "Egyptomania" plays a big part in the equipment, radiating exoticism and decadence. Eve Best (known as Wallis Simpson in The King's Speech) is a lascivious, defiant Cleopatra—and she was an excellent director of the suspenseful "Macbeth," with its accompaniment of Scottish bagpipes. Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus" is included in this "Tragedies" box as an opulent bonus.

-- Merker Online

Product Description:

  • Release Date: January 07, 2022

  • Catalog Number: OA 1251BD

  • UPC: 809478012511

  • Label: Opus Arte

  • Number of Discs: 7

  • Period: Renaissance

  • Composer: William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Shakespeare's Globe


  1. Titus Andronicus

    Composer: William Shakespeare

    Ensemble: Shakespeare's Globe

  2. Romeo and Juliet

    Composer: William Shakespeare

    Ensemble: Shakespeare's Globe

  3. Julius Caesar

    Composer: William Shakespeare

    Ensemble: Shakespeare's Globe

  4. Macbeth

    Composer: William Shakespeare

    Ensemble: Shakespeare's Globe

  5. Antony and Cleopatra

    Composer: William Shakespeare

    Ensemble: Shakespeare's Globe

  6. Doctor Faustus

    Composer: Christopher Marlowe

    Ensemble: Shakespeare's Globe