London's Shakespeare’s Globe theatre says it has just launched an innovative online platform offering full-length HD films of over 50 Shakespeare productions at the Globe, for rent or purchase.
The service, Globe Player, is kicking of with movies based on the Bard's work including Twelfth Night with Mark Rylance and Stephen Fry and Henry IV parts 1 and 2 with Roger Allam.
The Player also makes available some 100-plus free interviews on Shakespeare given by acting luminaries including Dame Judi Dench, Ewan McGregor, Sir Ian McKellen, Jude Law, Tom Hiddleston, Harold Bloom, Bonnie Greer and many others, while every foreign-language production from the 2012 ‘Globe to Globe’ festival of international Shakespeare has been made available on film, alongside main productions from the 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 summer seasons, will be downloadable.
The theatre, a registered charity centred on a recreation of the kind of facility the Swan of Avon would have worked in at the end of the 16th century, claims to be the first theatre in the world to offer such as on-demand platform for digital content.
"The Globe is always looking for bold new ways to take Shakespeare out into the world and share his astonishing plays with as many people as possible," said its Artistic Director, Dominic Dromgoole.
"Globe Player will allow us to reach brand new audiences and to make access to our productions simple and seamless for anyone with the Internet [and] we are delighted to be the first theatre with its own dedicated video-on-demand platform.”
Content will be released in batches on a fortnightly basis over the coming months, with rentals in the £2.99 to £3.99 range and purchases going from £4.99 to £7.99.
The Globe Player was built by Qip Creative, a small digital agency staffed by recent Cambridge graduates.