Drama Online offers production photos from the V & A collection


The Hollow Crown Series and BBC Drama Films to join Drama Online this autumn

Drama Online will significantly expand its current video offering from the autumn, with more award-winning film content.

The Hollow Crown Series starring Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston, brings together four filmed adaptations of Shakespeare's history plays - Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 and 2 and Henry V. Starting in the year 1399, the story follows events during sixteen years of dynastic and political power play. Kings, with their families and followers, are threatened by rebellion and conflict, from the Royal Court at Westminster to battlefields in England and France.

The Hollow Crown Series: The Wars of the Roses - Henry VI in two parts, along with Richard III tells the story of an exceptionally turbulent period in British history that acutely resonates with the political events of today. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugh Bonneville, Judi Dench, Michael Gambon, Sally Hawkins, Sophie Okonedo & Tom Sturridge, these exhilarating and emotionally charged films feature some of Shakespeare’s most eloquent and powerful language.

The Hollow Crown is available as an online education collection exclusively through Drama Online.

BBC Drama Films

This collection features stunning film adaptations of classic and contemporary plays from Sophocles and Shakespeare, to Oscar Wilde, Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg, Bernard Shaw and contemporary writers, Michael Frayn and Joe Penhall.

Content highlights include:

  • William Shakespeare’s, King Lear.  Ian Holm stars in the title role of this award-winning film version of Richard Eyre’s National Theatre production.
  • Henrik Ibsen’s, A Doll’s House, starring Juliet Stevenson, Trevor Eve, Geraldine James, Patrick Malahide and David Calder. “This new, pointedly ideological translation by Joan Tinsdale is both sharp and felicitous…Ibsen is served brilliantly” - New York Times
  • Michael Frayn’s, Copenhagen. A stylish screen adaptation of the award-winning play starring Stephen Rea, Daniel Craig and Francesca Annis.
  • Sophocles’ Antigone, translated by Don Taylor – this story of one sister’s loyalty to both her brothers is one of the most consistently popular plays in the history of drama.
  • Joe Penhall’s, Blue/Orange. An incendiary tale of race, madness and struggle for power. This adaptation of Joe Penhall’s award-winning play retains the music, lighting and sound team from the original stage production, which premiered in 2000.

Playwrights Canada Press collection to be released within Drama Online

We are excited to announce a new content partnership between Playwrights Canada Press and Drama Online. The Playwrights Canada Press Collection will expand Drama Online’s international scope adding almost 150 plays from established and emerging Canadian playwrights. Launching in March 2017, the collection will include plays from notable and award-winning authors such as Daniel MacIvor, Hannah Moscovitch, Colleen Murphy, Yvette Nolan, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, Jordan Tannahill, and Judith Thompson. Highlighted titles include Lion in the Streets, East of Berlin, The Monument, White Biting Dog, Bone Cage, and Almighty Voice and His Wife.

Playwrights Canada Press titles are taught in university and college drama and English courses internationally.  Their works have been produced to great acclaim on stage and have won a number of prestigious awards over the years including, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, the Windham-Campbell Prize, and the Siminovitch Prize.

350 Audio Plays from Award-Winning L.A. Theatre Works Launched on Drama Online

We are thrilled to announce that Drama Online users from across the world can now access and enjoy audio recordings of key canonical and contemporary works including:The Crucible, Red, August: Osage County, Antigone, Agnes of God, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Lion in Winter, Macbeth, Fabulation, The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial, Twelve Angry Men, M. Butterfly, and hundreds more. The plays are performed by such acting luminaries as Mark Ruffalo, Calista Flockhart, Lawrence Fishburne, Neil Patrick Harris, Alfred Molina, Julie Harris, Ruby Dee, John Lithgow,Hilary Swank and many others.

The collection of 350 audio titles is now available for institutional purchase or subscription. Contact your local sales team for more information or to set-up a free trial.

Shakespeare's Globe on Screen Film Collection to be released through Drama Online 

We are delighted to announce a new content partnership with the world’s most famous stage: Shakespeare’s Globe. From October 2015 Drama Online users around the world will be able to experience the thrill of original stage performance to further their appreciation and understanding of Shakespeare’s plays. A collection of twenty-one stunning Globe Theatre stage productions (see title list below) representing over 55 hours of content will be available for streaming through Drama Online. Recorded live on the Globe stage in high definition and surround sound, the films feature critically acclaimed performances from leading actors including Mark Rylance, Stephen Fry, and Roger Allam’s Olivier Award-winning role as Falstaff in Henry IV. The collection will be updated with future productions.

Shakespeare’s Globe is a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare's work and the playhouse for which he wrote, through performance and education. Together, the Globe Theatre, Globe Exhibition & Tour and Globe Education seek to further the experience and international understanding of Shakespeare in performance. Shakespeare's Globe welcomes visitors from all over the world to view productions, take part in workshops, lectures and staged readings alongside an ever expanding programme of public events, school and university courses.

The Globe’s Artistic Director, Dominic Dromgoole says, “We are thrilled to have our productions used as an example of world-class Shakespeare in performance by Drama Online. Sharing the pure and simple joy of seeing Shakespeare in the theatre he wrote for with as many people as possible is in our DNA, which is why we were the first theatre in the world to create its own on-demand video platform, Globe Player. In Drama Online, Bloomsbury and Faber & Faber have created a fantastic portal for students, and we’re delighted that Globe productions will be some of the first video content on offer there.”

Jenny Ridout, Editorial Director for Drama Online, says, “Shakespeare’s Globe has an international reputation for performance excellence and has become a global focal point for the study of Shakespeare and the theatre of his day. To have these spellbinding performances in one study resource alongside the playtexts, images and scholarly works will accelerate learning and ignite a passion for Shakespeare in generations of students to come. We are delighted to be working alongside the Globe.”

Shakespeare’s Globe on Screen Film Collection will be available for trial in October this year. Register your interest with your local sales team member:


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For enquiries about Shakespeare’s Globe contact Press & PR Manager Emma Draper on  / +44 (0) 207 902 1491

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Filmed theatre productions from Stage On Screen to be released through Drama Online 

We are delighted to announce a new content partnership with Stage on Screen, a company dedicated to capturing the experience of watching live theatre and making it widely available to students and teachers alike. From October 2015 films of Stage on Screen’s critically acclaimed and visually stunning stage productions will be available for streaming through Drama Online.  The  four key set drama and literature texts are: The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster, Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, School for Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Volpone by Ben Jonson.

Stage on Screen’s productions are filmed using 16:9 high definition video and 5:1 surround sound and are recorded in front of a live audience at The Greenwich Theatre, London. The plays are directed, designed and performed by talented and experienced theatre professionals with lists of credits from major companies such as The National Theatre, The Globe and the RSC, and from the worlds of film and television.

'The best spoken, most intelligently staged and thrillingly effective Malfi I've seen in years.' The Stage

'Atmospheric…diabolically convincing…flashes of fiery poetry…directed with laudable clarity by Elizabeth Freestone.’ Time Out  

"a delicious double act, Bremmer  (Volpone) snuffling with mirth into his ginger furs as Hadfield (MOSCA) makes boobies of the avaricious hypocrites with easy wit.'  The Times

Each film is accompanied by filmed interviews with cast and crew, comprising around 15 hours of content in total. In addition there are costume designs, productions stills, and study guides, as well as background on the play and production. Stage on Screen’s productions are well respected by the theatre industry, teaching staff and the academic community:

‘Essential watching in their own right…remarkable resources for those teaching English, Drama and Media ….’ The Shakespeare Bulletin.

‘..Unlike many modern productions of the classics, Stage on Screen productions are rarely cut, putting pupils who see them at a distinct advantage.’ Times Educational Supplement

‘From the moment Faustus enters the playing space we know we are in safe hands...fantastic inspiration for students.’ Teaching Drama Magazine

'Highly recommended.’ Video Librarian

‘A gem of a resource.’  International Schools Theatre Association

Brilliant. The English and Media Centre

‘…a godsend, English Departments should order immediately.’ National Association of Teaching English.

‘Directed with great clarity.’ British Universities Film and Video Council’s Viewfinder magazine

Phil Rees, Director at Stage on Screen, says, “We are very excited to be joining this project.  Plays are written to be seen, and Drama Online, with their innovative, engaging, and accessible new platform, will enable our recordings to reach a much wider academic community.”

Jenny Ridout, Editorial Director for Drama Online, says, “Stage on Screen’s carefully crafted content is created with an educational audience in mind right the way through from script to screen. They have a proven reputation for delivering high quality, professionally staged productions recorded to a cinematic standard. We are delighted to be working with them.”

Stage on Screen’s content will be available for trial in October this year. Register your interest with your local sales team member:


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Stage on Screen press and marketing contact:


Maxine Peake as Hamlet film to be released on Drama Online

We are delighted to announce the release of a stunning new film through Drama Online. From October 2015 the film version of the ground-breaking and critically acclaimed production of Hamlet at the Royal Exchange, Manchester, will be available to Drama Online users in school, FE and higher education institutions around the world.

Starring BAFTA-nominated actor Maxine Peake in the title role, the production played to sell-out audiences throughout its run and was the Royal Exchange’s fastest selling show in a decade.  Hamlet received four-and five-star reviews across the board:

‘Delicately ferocious’ The Observer

‘Intimate and intense’ The Times

‘Compelling’ The Independent

‘A milestone Hamlet’ Manchester Evening News

Hamlet is Shakespeare’s most iconic work and is the ultimate story of loyalty, love, betrayal, murder and madness. Hamlet, consumed by despair, struggles to exact revenge for his father’s murder, with devastating consequences. This stripped-back, fast-paced version with moments of humour is a captivating production that re-balances gender casting. Peake’s Hamlet is a female character who takes on a male mantle, a fierce and textured Hamlet who imbues the role with anger, indignation and purpose. There is further gender-blind casting with a female Polonius (Polonia), Rosencrantz and female gravediggers.  

The play was directed by the award-winning Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange, Sarah Frankcom, who describes Maxine Peake as “the most fearless and most courageous actor that I’ve ever worked with”. The strong supporting cast includes John Shrapnel as Claudius/Ghost, Barbara Marten as Gertrude, Gillian Veban as Polonia, Katie West as Ophelia and Thomas Arnold as Horatio.

Expertly filmed in high definition with eight cameras (including one overhead) the film captures the intensity of the stage production with the polish and care of a feature film. The film is directed by the award-winning filmmaker Margaret Williams.

Debbie Grey, Producer at Genesius Pictures, says, I am very delighted that this extraordinarily powerful re-invention of Shakespeare’s Hamlet is being made accessible via Drama Online to academics and students around the world.”

Jenny Ridout, Editorial Director for Drama Online, says, This fresh and original version of Hamlet is brilliantly wrought, allowing viewers the sense of an intimate seat in the auditorium.  We’re delighted to bring this outstanding production to a wider educational audience through Drama Online.”

Maxine Peake as Hamlet as well as video content from Shakespeare’s Globe and Stage on Screen will be available for trial in October this year. Register your interest with your local sales team member:


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Drama Online:

Hamlet the Film Ltd: Fiona McGarva on

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Drama Online Wins Innovation Excellence Award

We are delighted to announce that Drama Online was selected as one of ten recipients of this prestigious award from The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers. The awards celebrate the very best in innovation by companies adapting to technological, economic and social changes in the publishing industry. 

In addition to recognising excellence in the evolving and dynamic world of publishing, the awards are designed to share best practice across the communications and content industries.

The judges praised Drama Online as:

  “An innovative collaborative approach responding to the challenge of online retailing. A successful business migration following blockbuster success.”

Drama Online was nominated in the Digital Media and Publishing category. The award ceremony took place on Monday 30 June at Stationers' Hall, London. This is the inaugural year for the awards.

For more information about subscriptions, trials and pricing get in touch with your local Drama Online sales representative:

Press contact:

Shereen Muhyeddeen - Drama Online Marketing Manager:  

L.A. Theatre Works Audio Collection to join Drama Online

We are thrilled to announce that L.A. Theatre Works will be joining Drama Online with a new audio collection launching in May 2015. The addition of 300+ audio files of recorded plays will add another dimension to the 1,000+ play texts on the platform, allowing students to engage with the plays as performed as well as read.

L.A. Theatre Works (LATW) is a non-profit media arts organization based in Los Angeles whose mission for nearly 40 years has been to present, preserve and disseminate classic and contemporary plays. Their unique hybrid form of audio theatre and innovative use of technology in the production and dissemination of theatre keeps this venerable art form thriving, assuring wide and affordable access.

The LATW Audio Theatre Collection of more than 300 recorded plays is the largest library of its kind in the world. Titles by Arthur Miller, Oscar Wilde and Sophocles rub shoulders with contemporary classics by David Mamet, Wendy Wasserstein, and Tom Stoppard as well as newer voices, including Jon Robin Baitz, Kenneth Lonergan, Rebecca Gilman, Lynn Nottage, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Julie Marie Myatt, and Lydia Diamond. L.A. Theatre Works' audio productions have received awards from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Writers Guild of America, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Audio Publishers Association, among others.

Responding to increasing demand for a high quality online research tool for drama and literature students, professors and teachers, Drama Online was launched in March 2013 featuring content from Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, Arden Shakespeare and Faber and Faber. It currently contains over 1,000 plays in a fully cross-searchable format which allows students to interact with Character Grids and Part Books, as well as search for plays via cast size and monologues via gender. From January 2015 the collection will grow significantly to accommodate new content partner, Nick Hern Books. Drama Online is used in leading higher education institutions around the world including Yale, Juilliard, Oxford University, Trinity College Dublin, RADA and NIDA, has been nominated for several publishing awards and was Highly Commended by the Associated of Learned and Professional Society Publishers for publishing innovation.

Susan Loewenberg, Producing Director of LATW says, “We are truly excited about this new partnership which will provide an invaluable learning tool. Adding our audio works to the Drama Online library will enhance understanding of these plays and allow students to fully experience their emotional impact –as they hear characters interact and gain full appreciation for the nuances that performances add to the words written on the page.”

Jenny Ridout, Editorial Director for Drama Online at Bloomsbury says “L.A. Theatre Works provides an unrivalled collection of audio recordings of key canonical and contemporary works by leading playwrights performed by prominent actors. It adds real depth and dynamism to the resource. We are delighted to be working with such a high quality content partner, especially one that is so focused on educational needs."

LATW audio content will made available through Drama Online from May 2015 as streamed audio files, easily discoverable through specialist indexing and advanced search, as well as linked to other related texts and scholarly works in the site. Pricing, technical information and a title list will be available later on this year.

For more information about subscriptions, trials and pricing get in touch with your local Drama Online sales representative:

Press contacts:

Shereen Muhyeddeen - Drama Online Marketing Manager:
Lucy Pollak - LATW: +1 (818) 887-1499 (for media only)

Nick Hern Books to join Drama Online

We are delighted to announce a new content partner for the Drama Online platform: Nick Hern Books.

Nick Hern Books is a leading theatre publisher and performing rights agent, with over a thousand plays and theatre books in print. Founded in June 1988 as an imprint of Walker Books, with full independence following in 1993, the company has established an enviable list of plays by some of the foremost playwrights of our times, including Howard Brenton, Jez Butterworth, Caryl Churchill, David Edgar, Helen Edmundson, Liz Lochhead, Conor McPherson, Rona Munro, Enda Walsh and Nicholas Wright. More recent additions to the list include plays by Mike Bartlett, Alecky Blythe, Alexi Kaye Campbell, Vivienne Franzmann, debbie tucker green, Ella Hickson, Lucy Kirkwood, Bruce Norris, Nina Raine, Jack Thorne and Tom Wells.

NHB also publishes many classic plays in modern translations by leading dramatists including Richard Eyre, Kenneth McLeish, Stephen Mulrine and Mike Poulton, alongside definitive editions of the works of Terence Rattigan and Eugene O'Neill.

'Drama Online rises magnificently to the challenges and opportunities of the digital age, and we're delighted to join forces with Bloomsbury and Faber and Faber in making the very best dramatic writing available online and on demand around the world.'  Matt Applewhite, Managing Director, Nick Hern Books

'From its very beginnings twenty-five years ago, Nick Hern Books has set out to publish the best new playwriting to reach the stage. Now the pick of our list of one thousand titles will be available through Drama Online.'  Nick Hern, Founder and Publisher

‘We are delighted to have the Nick Hern Books list join Drama Online. It will add a strong and significant body of playwriting talent to an already large and impressive collection. Jenny Ridout, Editorial Director, Bloomsbury Drama.


Responding to increasing demand for a high-quality online research tool for drama and literature students, professors and teachers, Drama Online was launched in March 2013 featuring content from Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, Arden Shakespeare and Faber and Faber. It currently contains over 1,000 plays in a fully cross-searchable format which allows students to interact with Character Grids and Part Books, as well as search for plays via cast size and monologues via gender.

'A ground-breaking digital resource that makes available a vast library of plays and reference works while offering bespoke features tailored to the needs of individual students and researchers. Drama Online blazes the trail for a new era of digital theatre publishing'.  Dr Chris Megson, Royal Holloway, University of London


Content from the Nick Hern Books list will be available in Drama Online from January 2015.

For more information about subscriptions, trials and pricing get in touch with your local Drama Online sales representative:


Ingram Content Group Digital Publishing Award

We are pleased to announce that Drama Online has been shortlisted for the Ingram Content Group Digital Publishing Award, IPG Independent Publishing Awards2014.

The IPG judges praised Drama Online for its excellent design and usability. They also saw evidence of strong early sales and positive feedback: I would have loved this when I was a student. It goes way beyond text to include a heap of content, and is avery creative use of technology.”

Supporting independent publishing for 50 years, the IPG represents a wide range of publishers of every size and currently has a membership of 560 companies.

The 13 winners of the IPG Independent Publishing Awards will be announced at a Gala Dinner during the IPG’s Annual Conference on Thursday 27 February 2014.

Drama Online "Highly Commended" at the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers Awards for Publishing Innovation

The ALPSP announced their Annual Awards on 12 September, with Drama Online scooping the "Highly Commended" gong for Publishing Innovation.

Other nominees included Altmetric, figshare, Nature ENCODE and PeerJ, with PeerJ taking the overall award. Prior to the announcement, the Chair of the judging panel, David Sommer, observed: 'The quality and volume of entries this year is high, and while it was difficult to narrow them down, we feel the shortlist represents some of the most exciting projects reflecting the very best of the industry.'

Audrey McCulloch, Chief Executive of ALPSP added: ‘The Awards demonstrate how ALPSP members are continually innovating to respond to the needs of the research community.'

Jenny Ridout, the Head of Drama Publishing at Bloomsbury collected the award on behalf of Drama Online. Her blog on Drama Online, written in the run up to the awards ceremony describes how Drama Online was born out of an effort 'to get under the skin of how our texts are used as study materials and to develop an enabling tool to help our audiences achieve their goals: to study, to perform, to succeed in their exams, or simply to read and absorb.'

More about the ALPSP awards

Drama Online offers a window into the V&A's incredible archive of production photographs.

18th Feb 2013

We are delighted to announce that Drama Online's digital library will include over 500 images from the Victoria and Albert Museum's vast theatre and performance archives. The archives contain more than a million photographs ranging from the 1840s right up to the present.

Shedding light on changes in scenography, costume design and performance styles, the images in Drama Online offer users the opportunity to see the same work in numerous productions, to trace the working lives of actors through their roles and to appreciate the ways in which theatre photography has evolved. The long exposure times and stiff postures of the 19th century are replaced by beautifully composed studio shots by Houston Rogers in the 1930s. These are replaced in turn by Douglas H. Jeffery's reportage style from the late 1950s onward when new, lighter cameras and films with faster exposure times allowed photographers to snatch grainy close-ups, capturing movement and emotion rather than poise and control.

Jeffery was a prolific and dedicated photographer attending multiple calls in the space of a day, so his archive presents an extraordinarily rich overview of post-war theatre. He was one of the first photographers to persuade theatres to allow him access to rehearsals and his archive shows that he was present at many landmark productions of the twentieth century: Edward Bond's Saved at the Royal Court; Howard Brenton's The Romans in Britain at the National Theatre, Harrison Birtwhistle's Mask of Orpheus at the London Coliseum, the experimental work at Riverside Studios, and the work of the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-on-Avon and in London.

Drama Online will also feature the work of Graham Brandon who attends photocalls on behalf of the museum. Brandon's beautifully composed pictures shot on digital cameras capture the physicality and grace of modern performers in the moment. They bring a sense of vitality back to photocalls which are now rigorously choreographed and becoming increasingly rare as directors and companies choose to invite one photographer to capture their work rather than the travelling, quarrelling packs of photographers moving from call to call that began in the 1960s.

Drama Online to make Brecht's dramatic works available electronically for the first time

10 July 2012

We are delighted to announce that Drama Online's digital library will include the work of perhaps the greatest playwright of the twentieth century, Bertolt Brecht. This is the first time that Brecht's plays will be available online.

In the same way that Drama Online will hold multiple translations of works by authors such as Chekhov and Ibsen, classics texts by Brecht can be browsed and studied in more than one translation. For example Mother Courage and Her Children will be available in translations by John Willett and Michael Hoffman, and versions of The Caucasian Chalk Circle will be available by Alistair Beaton and a translation by James Stern, Tania Stern and W. H. Auden.

Alongside Brecht's most-studied and performed works, such as Life of GalileoThe Threepenny Opera and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, lesser-known plays from all eight Brecht World Classics play collection volumes will be available, including the Lehrstücke (learning plays).

Additionally, Drama Online will bring together many of the crucial essays that illustrate the development of his aesthetic and the breadth of his interests. Brecht on TheatreBrecht on Film and RadioBrecht on Art and Politics, and the Journals will together provide an unrivaled corpus of Brecht's writings on theatre, culture and theory. This fully searchable collection offers the work of one of the twentieth century's leading cultural theorists within the click of a mouse.

'This is a hugely welcome addition to the available digital resources on drama and theatre theory. To be able to search and compare major translations of one of the greatest of all dramatists will open up whole new paths of enquiry for scholars, students and theatre practitioners.' Tom Kuhn, Oxford University

'Access to Drama Online makes available Brecht's works in English translation on a completely new and welcome platform. Students and researchers now can search for words, concepts, and phrases across the texts and annotations, while theatre people can compare translations of the major plays with a digital click.' Marc Silberman, University of Wisconsin

Bloomsbury and Faber and Faber Limited announce Drama Online

26 May 2011

Methuen Drama, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, and Faber and Faber Limited are pleased to announce a new partnership to develop a digital content platform for libraries, educators, students and researchers to be sold via subscription and perpetual access to academic institutions.

Drama Online is the ultimate online resource for plays, critical analysis and performance. Featuring the pre-eminent drama and reference titles from the Methuen Drama, The Arden Shakespeare and Faber lists, Drama Online will offer unique functionality for studying theatre and access to a complete digital library of the most studied, performed and critically acclaimed plays from the last two and a half thousand years.

Nigel Newton, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bloomsbury Publishing described the resource as 'A very exciting and truly unique way of providing access to the finest drama literature. Many iconic works in this collection have never been made available digitally before and we are delighted to be working in partnership with Faber.'

Stephen Page, Chief Executive and Publisher of Faber and Faber noted: 'This partnership between two independent publishers will make available a unique and extraordinary resource for the study of drama and we are delighted to be working closely with Bloomsbury to develop it over the coming years.'