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TOPIC: BBC to produce all 37 Shakespeare plays

BBC to produce all 37 Shakespeare plays 8 years 10 months ago #1552

  • William Shakespeare
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LONDON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- The BBC is embarking on an ambitious project to produce new versions of all 37 of Shakespeare's plays over the next 12 years, employing an ensemble cast.

The BBC originally presented Shakespearean works 30 years ago in a widely heralded seven-year series.

This time around, the BBC enlisted Oscar-winner Sam Mendes to produce the entire series. Among the notable stars being called upon to act in the Bard's plays are Judi Dench, Jude Law, Ian McKellen and Kate Winslet, The Sunday Telegraph reported Sunday.

"The moment I took the idea to the BBC, they grasped it with both hands, and in a sense they are the only people who could help pull it off," Mendes said.

BBC is discussing a joint finance deal for the series with HBO.


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BBC to produce all 37 Shakespeare plays 8 years 9 months ago #1606

  • akfarrar
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Only just recovered from the swoon of reading the news! I must have died and gone to heaven.

(Hold on - they are going to get it right from the start this time aren't they?)

And has anyone seen Brooks Hamlet on DVD? Just come across a youtube extract - looks magnificent.

:(
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BBC to produce all 37 Shakespeare plays 8 years 9 months ago #1609

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I saw the Brooks Hamlet on DVD. I was really excited to see it, but for me it was a let down. The script was hacked to pieces, rearranged, cut left and right and I didn't really understand why. It looked interesting from the beginning, but I found myself bored. It was only 2 hours, but I would have rather sat through 4 hours of Branagh; I would have been more engaged.
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BBC to produce all 37 Shakespeare plays 8 years 9 months ago #1610

  • Tue Sorensen
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I have seen Brooks' Hamlet as well - it's very post-colonial. Very stylized. Lots of warm colors (and not just the actors' skin colors, either!). It's a very pleasant watch, but it's not the kind of production where you can read some deep interpretation out of every scene, as you actually can with for instance Branagh's version.

One thing I chiefly loved about it was the duel with Laertes at the end. They perform ultra-short ritualistic samurai battles, and the brevity of each "hit" makes it very understandable that Hamlet keeps refusing a refreshment - he simply hasn't worked up a sweat.

I'm over the moon about the news of a fresh BBC Shakespeare series! I hope they also give Branagh something to to... Macbeth, perhaps? I hear that the next movie he's trying to finance is A Winter's Tale, but maybe he could do it with the BBC instead? Although, I expect they wouldn't give him quite as much freedom as he'd like...
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BBC to produce all 37 Shakespeare plays 8 years 9 months ago #1611

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Branagh is going to direct Jude Law in Hamlet for the stage in the UK and it will likely be the version they adapt for the BBC.
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BBC to produce all 37 Shakespeare plays 8 years 9 months ago #1612

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That's amazing news! Means that all those of us who can't secure tickets to that production will get to experience it anyway! :-)

Do you have any links to more info on this whole new BBC Shakespeare Series thing?

And by the way, what of the RSC? How is their relationship with the BBC? Will some of the RSC productions comprise installments of the BBC series?
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BBC to produce all 37 Shakespeare plays 8 years 9 months ago #1613

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Little more info....but it's pretty scarce right now...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... b118.xml#1
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BBC to produce all 37 Shakespeare plays 8 years 6 months ago #1864

  • paulrobertwagner
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sorensonian wrote:
I have seen Brooks' Hamlet as well - it's very post-colonial.
Two questions: What text edition of Shakespeare will be used for the plays, and what exactly does "post-colonial" mean?
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BBC to produce all 37 Shakespeare plays 8 years 6 months ago #1867

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I don't know which texts will be used for the new BBC performances.

I called the Brook Hamlet post-colonial because it is composed of a multi-cultural cast and set, drawing inspiration from many different cultures and historical eras. This is popular to do because of the academic trend of postcolonialism, which focuses on the way the world looks in the age since colonialism came to an end, and how the interference from the developed world has affected the "Third World", positively and negatively.

Read more about postcolonialism here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-colonialism
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