Samuel Daniel's closet drama The Tragedie of Cleopatra was presented at the Great Hall of Goodenough College on Sunday 3rd 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.
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Samuel Daniel’s Cleopatra is significant as the first original dramatisation in English of the Antony and Cleopatra story, and as such, it forms an important part of our literary heritage. It is unexpected for those who come to it for the first time: this is not a play about the sweet, sultry seductress that we have come to expect in representations of the Egyptian Queen. Instead, Daniel’s tragedy focuses on the final hours of Cleopatra’s life, showing a great queen struggling to negotiate some form of mercy for her children, knowing that she has no option but to commit suicide or be led as a trophy in Caesar’s triumph.
The production was presented in association with UCL's Centre for Early Modern Exchanges. It was produced by Yasmin Arshad and directed by Emma Whipday, with Professor Helen Hackett as executive producer. This event formed part of the 'Gained in Translation' season of the UCL Grand Challenge of Intercultural. It was also generously supported by:
The Malone Society
Oxford Journals: Music and Letters
UCL European Institute
UCL Faculty of Arts and Humanities, including FIGS (the Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies)
UCL English Department
UCLU Drama Society
To learn more about the production and to view rehearhsal photos, please visit: thetragedieofcleopatra.wordpress.com
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