Shakespeare Uncovered & Bard Bits
William Shakespeare gets the full PBS treatment in a six-part series, Shakespeare Uncovered. Divided into 3 programs featuring two hour-long segments focusing on one or two plays by the Bard, each with a celebrity host. The series is built on interviews with actors, directors and scholars, clips from screen versions of the plays under consideration, and live performance segments filmed at today’s Globe, and staged specifically for Shakespeare Uncovered.
Ethan Hawke explores “Macbeth,” and Joely Richardson and her mom, Vanessa Redgrave, look into “Twelfth Night” and “As You Like It.” Derek Jacobi examines “Richard II,” including scenes from a PBS film of the play featuring Ben Whishaw and Patrick Stewart. Jeremy Irons leads a consideration of the sequential history plays “Henry IV” and “Henry V” -- again using clips from a PBS Great Performances version featuring Irons as Henry IV and Tom Hiddleston as Prince Hal/Henry V. David Tennant takes on “Hamlet,” with an assist from Whishaw and Simon Russell Beale, while director Trevor Nunn focuses on “The Tempest,” with Helen Mirren and Julie Taymor among the interviewees.
Shakespeare Uncovered is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the generous support of the project’s lead foundation sponsor, the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation. Major funding is also provided by Rosalind P. Walter, The Polonsky Foundation, Virginia and Dana Randt, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, and PBS.
In conjunction with the series, WCVE PBS created a series of one-to-two-minute short programs featuring showstopper Shakespeare moments performed by the professional actors from the renowned Richmond Shakespeare organization. Bard Bits aired originally on WCVE PBS and WHTJ PBS and can be viewed here.
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