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Shakespeare Uncovered

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BBC Four (ended 2012)

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  • Shakespeare Uncovered

    Trailer

    Behind every Shakespeare play is a story. Shakespeare Uncovered portrays the Bard as an impresario who, four centuries ago, defined show business in his day-drawing on historical sources, stealing and adapting ideas, bringing back popular characters, writing prequels, and developing dramatic ideas from the politics of the day. In each episode, a major Shakespearean actor or director explores and reveals the extraordinary world and works of William Shakespeare and the still-potent impact they have today.moreless
  • Richard III With Antony Sher

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 6 - 10/26/18

    Antony Sher unveils the life of Shakespeare's "Richard III," comparing the historical king's reputation with the play's enduring portrait of ruthless ambition and vengeance.
  • The Winter's Tale With Simon Russell Beale

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 5 - 10/26/18

    Simon Russell Beale uncovers the romance and betrayals of "The Winter's Tale" and shows that in this play Shakespeare offers something for which everyone longs: the ability to make amends for an irreversible mistake.moreless
  • Julius Caesar With Brian Cox

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 4 - 10/19/18

    Brian Cox looks at Shakespeare's most revered political play, "Julius Caesar," to analyze what can be learned about freedom and tyranny today.
  • Shakespeare Uncovered: Julius Caesar With Brian Cox

    Trailer

    Shakespeare?s ?Julius Caesar? is a play that upholds liberty against tyranny. But what is tyranny? And who decides? Shakespeare doesn?t make it simple. In order to preserve the freedom of the Roman Republic, Julius Caesar, an ?over-mighty? leader, is assassinated by Roman Senators led by Caesar?s friend Brutus. Caesar wanted to become an emperor. Is Brutus a traitor or a great hero and defender of liberty? Brian Cox explores how ?Julius Caesar,? for many years, was seen to represent the American experience: the birth of a Republic. The play explores how easy it is for a free republic to fall into corruption. More than that, the play challenges us to think about who or what to trust and what values we want to live by ? and to look inside and wonder how well we even know ourselves.moreless
  • Measure for Measure With Romola Garai

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 3 - 10/19/18

  • Shakespeare Uncovered: Measure For Measure With Romola Garai

    Trailer

    ?Measure for Measure? takes an astonishingly timely look at sexual morality, hypocrisy and harassment. Shakespeare asks us to ?measure? the price of liberty against the moral and social cost of libertinism. It?s a play about vice, the law and sexual corruption at the highest levels and, for nearly two centuries, it was considered too racy to be produced on the English stage. Garai explains why there is no light-hearted happy ending in this play, but something much darker and more complex ? truly a sexual tale for our time.moreless
  • The Merchant of Venice With F. Murray Abraham

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 2 - 10/12/18

    F. Murray Abraham untangles the controversies surrounding "The Merchant of Venice," addressing the ubiquitous anti-Semitism that characterized Europe in Shakespeare's time.
  • Shakespeare Uncovered: The Merchant Of Venice With F. Murray Abraham

    Trailer

    Pushed to the edge, Shylock passionately insists that Jews are no different than any other people, with common humanity, feelings ? and desire for revenge.
  • Much Ado About Nothing with Helen Hunt

    Full Episode

    S 3 : Ep 1 - 10/12/18

    Helen Hunt explores "Much Ado About Nothing," an exquisite comedy of comparison and contrast, including what the ultimate "ado" about "nothing" really means.
  • Shakespeare Uncovered: Much Ado About Nothing With Helen Hunt

    Trailer

    ?Much Ado About Nothing? is one of 13 plays that Shakespeare set in Italy, a country that was warm, sensuous and inviting for any 16th-century Englishmen writing about lovers. Claudio and Hero are the conventional lovers, too tongue-tied to speak to each other Beatrice and Benedick are the skeptics, too busy insulting each other to realize how much they are in love. Hunt explores this exquisite comedy of comparison and contrast, as well as what the ultimate ?ado? about ?nothing? really means.moreless
  • Romeo & Juliet With Joseph Fiennes

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 6 - 2/13/15

    In the Season 2 finale, Joseph Fiennes examines "Romeo and Juliet" and its many permutations, including Royal Ballet productions; "West Side Story" and other musicals; and Baz Luhrmann's cinematic re-imagining of the play. Included: remarks from Orlando Bloom, Condola Rashad and Stephen Sondheim.moreless
  • Othello With David Harewood

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 4 - 2/6/15

    David Harewood, who in 1997 became the first black actor to star as Othello at London's National Theatre, explores the issues raised in the play; and interviews Adrian Lester, Simon Russell Beale, Ian McKellen, Julia Stiles and Patrick Stewart.moreless
  • The Taming of the Shrew With Morgan Freeman

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 3 - 2/6/15

    Morgan Freeman investigates "The Taming of the Shrew." He talks with Tracey Ullman, who starred with him a 1990 Shakespeare in the Park production that set the story in the Old West; and also talks with Sinead Cusack and Julia Stiles.moreless
  • King Lear With Christopher Plummer

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 2 - 1/30/15

    A look at "King Lear" with Christopher Plummer, who first played the title role in 2002 under the direction of Jonathan Miller. He explores how the play may have been staged in Shakespeare's time; and talks about playing the king with Ian McKellen and Simon Russell Beale.moreless
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream With Hugh Bonneville

    Full Episode

    S 2 : Ep 1 - 1/30/15

    The Season 2 premiere features Hugh Bonneville, who began his career as an understudy for Ralph Fiennes in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Open Air Theatre in London's Regent's Park, reflecting on the play's enduring appeal with Fiennes, David Walliams and Sheridan Smith.moreless
  • The Tempest with Trevor Nunn

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 6 - 2/8/13

    Travel with director Trevor Nunn through the magical, mysterious world of the Bard's last complete play.
  • Hamlet with David Tennant

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 5 - 2/8/13

    Meet with David Tennant and fellow Hamlets who compare notes on the challenge of playing the iconic role.
  • Henry IV & Henry V with Jeremy Irons

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 4 - 2/1/13

    Join Jeremy Irons as he uncovers the enduring appeal of Shakespeare's "history plays."
  • Richard II with Derek Jacobi

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 3 - 2/1/13

    In returning to the role of a deposed monarch whose crown is taken from him, Derek Jacobi takes a 360-degree view of this great political thriller whose title character he played more than 30 years ago.moreless
  • The Comedies with Joely Richardson

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 2 - 1/25/13

    Joely Richardson investigates (with her mother Vanessa Redgrave) the legacy of these two brilliant cross-dressing comedies and the great comic and romantic heroines created by Shakespeare in two perennially popular plays.
  • Macbeth with Ethan Hawke

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 1 - 1/25/13

    Ethan Hawke invites viewers to join him in his quest to play Shakespeare's murderous Thane of Cawdor by uncovering the true story that served as inspiration, immersing himself in some of the most memorable and innovative productions and discovering Shakespeare's extraordinary insights into the criminal mind.moreless