Stark Shakespeare

by Alice Coles in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 17th February 2020 we successfully raised £10 with 1 supporters in 28 days

To give actors from all backgrounds the opportunity to perform Shakespeare on screen. Viewers stream content as an educational resource

by Alice Coles in Bristol, England, United Kingdom


I wish to continue my vision to bring Shakespeares' work alive on screen in a minimal and naturalistic way, working with actors from all backgrounds. I need your help to pay for the space used for the shoot and my team. 

2019: We premiered at the Stroud Shakespeare Festival, bringing our excellent scenes to a young, aspiring audience.


The idea came from a talk with Sir Mark Rylance, who had been working with the youth group 'Intermission Theatre' in London. He invited me down to see the work they do and this particular performance was based around Shakespeare monologues. I was awe struck with how talented the performers were, with no formal training. This project goes beyond just recording olde English works, I want to give talented individuals the opportunity to perform as part of a Youtube web series. The vision is to bring it to an audience for educational purposes. This would include live performances being streamed into Universities and Schools to teach the language of Shakespeare in an interactive and contemporary way.

  • The Guardian Solos: aired two years ago to celebrate Shakespeare's birthday. Intense and intimate playing to camera from performers such as Adrian Lester and Damian Lewis set in a dimly lit studio, performing a monologue.
  • Looking For Richard: Produced by Al Pacino. The way the rehearsal process was shown, interviews with the cast and Shakespeare experts and how Al Pacino and Winona Ryder performed the integral duologue with Lady Anne and Richard III, in a circular space from multi angles. The emphasis on feelings and emotion as stated by the man they interviewed on the street, is exactly the kind of angle I want to explore. “When we speak with no feeling, we get nothing out of society. We should speak like Shakespeare. He did more than help us, he instructed us”. 
  • My own searches on Youtube, coming across very poorly filmed scenes from overseas Theatre Productions, or grand and elaborate traditional theatre companies, or pieced together scenes from abridged films. I feel there is something missing and fresh, good quality, informal and well acted material is needed. 

The Shoot

We were fortunate at the beginning of 2018 to shoot two scenes and a professional interview. I had enough money to pay for the studio, which was park of the prestigious Tobacco Factory in Bristol. Here are the scenes, one with two students from Bristol Old Vic and one with myself and a local musician from Bristol. Eva O'Hara from BOV has gone on to secure a leading role on Hollyoaks!

  • We were incredibly fortunate to have our first interview for the channel to be with the brilliantly talented Paul McGann. He gave a fresh and honest insight into how Shakespeares language should be heard and the impact it had on him growing up in Liverpool.

The Team

  • Jonny Clooney of Makinov Films, is my DOP and co creator,  who's recent work includes Attenborough Wildlife series and Aardman Animations
  • Two students, Jack Head & Jacob Bryant from 'Screenology' Bristol came onboard to assist with the multi cams and sound for the shoot. Jack was also our behind the scenes photographer, who captured in black and white beautiful stills from the shoot. They did a sterling job and we were thrilled to give students from the university the opportunity.
  • Alice Coles, creator, actor and producer. I love Shakespeare and film. Happiest performing with the Birmingham Rep at the International Shakespeare festival in Almagro and creating Stark Shakespeare.

Next Steps

  • I wish to film two-three more scenes this year - 2020. Scenes TBD.
  • Working with local talent: found through auditions and platform
  • Collaborating with leading establishments: auditioning future award winners from the Old Vic Theatre School.
  • Seeking actors who have a natural grasp of the language and emotions but whose opportunities are more limited due to circumstance. I would find these through local youth groups/projects such as
  • Working with future crew talent: studying at Screenology.
  • Secure funding to be able to pay the people I work with.

New Features 

  • Film the scenes at The Hours Space - This is a studio space, to show off the brilliant work, but being in a rehearsal space gives the actors permission to keep exploring and trying new things.
  • The actors: pre/post performance analysis on how performing went for them.
  • Interviews: professional and insightful thoughts on Shakespeare from industry professionals. We wish to speak to other notable people so viewers can get an education on the language and how it relates to human behaviour today.
  • Multi cameras set up around the space, capturing the scenes from two or three different angles, but keeping one continuous shot, to allow the story to flow. Similar to the last shoot, but with tighter shots on the face.

Thank-you for taking the time to read my project story. If you have any questions/comments please do get in touch. 


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£25 or more

£25 Reward

Thou Sweet Well Wishing Cukoo-bud! INCLUDES: Signed copy of a scene of your choice from the series on paper fit for a Quill!

£100 or more

0 of 5 claimed

£100 Reward

Thou Rare Fair-Faced True-Penny! INCLUDES: Early access to the scenes before they are public Signed copy of a scene of your choice on paper fit for a Quill! Name in the credits

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