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COMMENTS 

The Democratic Disconnect

In the eurozone, the EU needs greater legitimacy at the national level not only to secure space for domestic politics but also to secure respect for social and economic commitments over time.
Prof. Albert Weale
24 November 2014 More...

Starts: Nov 24, 2014 12:00:00 AM

Europe: Six decades of strife and controversy for UK

It's groundhog day in Britain, where the European Union is concerned. The context changes, but the basic issues do not.
Sir Stephen Wall
18 November 2014 More...

Starts: Nov 18, 2014 12:00:00 AM

The 9 November poll in Catalonia

The recent Scottish referendum set a precedent in contemporary Europe by seeking to deliver, in agreement between Westminster and Holyrood, a binding decision on Scotland's future. The 'participatory process' that took place in Catalonia on 9 November could not be more different. Why is this so, what are its consequences, and where might we be heading?
Dr Claire Colomb
Dr Uta Staiger

13 November 2014
More...

Starts: Nov 13, 2014 12:00:00 AM

Cleopatra DVDs now on sale

19 June 2013

Watch the first performance of Daniel’s tragedy in at least four hundred years.

Samuel Daniel’s neo-Senecan closet drama, The Tragedie of Cleopatra, was presented by the Centre for Early Modern Exchanges in March 2013. This was the first performance of Daniel’s tragedy in at least four hundred years. 

DVDs of this rare and sold-out production are now available for research and teaching purposes and to anyone with an interest in Daniel and his Cleopatra.

Purchase your copy



The staging

Samuel Daniel’s Tragedie of Cleopatra (1594) is the first English drama about Cleopatra and a source for Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. This production arose from the PhD research of Yasmin Arshad (UCL, English) and brought together a talented production team from a wide range of UCL departments.

The production explored early modern attitudes to race and national identity. The play centres on tensions between Egypt and Rome and on a non-European heroine who is fascinatingly different from Shakespeare’s Cleopatra in her nobility and stoicism. It is a sequel to Mary Sidney’s translation of Robert Garnier’s Antonie, making it an English play about an Egyptian queen inspired by a translation from French of a neo-Senecan tragedy. As such it demonstrates that cultural dialogue across and beyond Europe was the engine of artistic and intellectual innovation in the early modern period. 

The production also overturned the widespread perception that women did not participate in drama in Shakespeare’s time. Although female roles were taken by boys in commercial playhouses such as the Globe, Daniel’s play belongs to a genre (sometimes called ‘closet drama’) performed in country house settings with actors including women. Excitingly, Yasmin Arshad has discovered a portrait of a Jacobean lady in costume as Cleopatra, inscribed with lines from Daniel’s play.

By investigating the history of relations between performance, race, and gender in early modern Europe this production will enhance our understanding of these issues in the present.

This project was supported by UCL European Institute's call for proposals 2012-13