Which plays crossover beyond this mortal realm, and how?
Richard II ( 1592) A sleepless Dick has plotted his way onto the throne, but finds himself haunted by his many victims on the night before his death on Bosworth field.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream ( 1595) The wedding of Greek hero Theseus is magically bombed by a dispute between the King and Queen of the Fairies, in a troublesome tiff involving superhuman goblins and ass mutation.
Julius Caesar ( 1600)
In an echo of Richard III’s ghostly paranoia, poor old Brutus has only just come to terms with helping to turn Caesar into Swiss cheese, when his old boss returns to predict his death.
Hamlet ( 1601) The hero may have been content to just mope around Elsinore if Shakespeare’s most famous play didn’t begin with an earthcracking appearance from his dead father, barking some unpleasant truths.
Macbeth ( 1606) Macbeth glories in the mad devices of a trio of witches and their mistress Hecate, though whether Banquo’s bloody comeback is part of their bewitching of the King or an early zombie outbreak remains uncertain.
Cymbeline ( 1609) One of the key plot points in this Celtic history epic sees the despairing hero’s dead family summon up Jupiter himself to deliver a happy ending, deus ex machina personified.
The Winter’s Tale ( 1610) As if the concluding sequence where Leontes’ long- assumed- dead wife is brought back to life from statue form wasn’t enough, Time himself delivers a lengthy speech to let the audience know that 16 years have passed.
The Tempest ( 1611) Shakespeare turns topical tropical shipwreck news into a fully realised vision of an alien land far, far away, with its own mythology, races and magical laws.
How sci- fi? David Tennant and Patrick Stewart in Hamlet.