Romeo & Juliet comes to life on the iPad with interactive Explore Shakespeare app

Shakespeare is coming to the iPad in a series of interactive apps that delves into the very heart of some of the playwright's most famous works.

The Explore Shakespeare series begins with Rome and Juliet, and Macbeth, both of which provide in-depth plot summaries and audio performances from actors including Michael Sheen and Kate Beckinsale.

Each app provides a series of interactive activities for individuals or groups - be they beginners or literary experts - with the aim of providing further insight into Shakespeare’s plays.

Relationships between specific characters are highlighted with circles, so consumers will be able to gain a better understanding of any subplot between them, while a Themeline provides a continuous synopsis of the play through the various acts.

A variety of photos from film productions such as Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, will also be available to view, while specific text from each play can be searched and highlighted within the app.

The Cambridge University Press has launched the Explore Shakespeare app for the iPad, with Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth both available now from the Apple App Store for £9.99 each.

Other Shakespeare classics including Twelfth Night, Othello, Hamlet and A Midsummer’s Night Dream will be rolled out throughout 2013.

The app will also be compatible with the recently unveiled iPad mini, which should prove handy for those thespians who wish to read their lines while having one arm free to gesticulate in a theatrical manner.