Stage stars cel­e­brate Shake­speare’s skills

Macclesfield Express - - TVWEEK -

You can run but you can’t hide from the Bard – he’s every­where, al­most om­nipo­tent, whether you re­alise it or not. Many well-worn ev­ery­day phrases first ap­peared in his works, while his sto­ries con­tinue to have a ma­jor in­flu­ence on pop­u­lar cul­ture to­day, so it seems only right that we should cel­e­brate his life and legacy – even if it is on the 400th an­niver­sary of his death. "BBC2 is play­ing a cen­tral role in the BBC's Shake­speare cel­e­bra­tions and I'm de­lighted we will be show­ing this very spe­cial piece which typ­i­fies the new am­bi­tion and scale we are bring­ing to arts pro­gram­ming on the chan­nel," ex­plains Kim Shillinglaw, con­troller of BBC2 and BBC4. David Tennant may be best known for his star­ring roles in Doc­tor Who and Broad­church, but he’s no stranger to Wil­liam Shake­speare’s works, hav­ing ap­peared on stage in the likes of Ham­let, Love’s Labours Lost, Much Ado About Noth­ing and Richard II. He’s also hugely pop­u­lar, par­tic­u­larly with younger view­ers, so is per­haps the ideal per­son to front Shake­speare Live! From the RSC (Satur­day, BBC2, 8.30pm). Tennant will be joined on stage at the Royal Shake­speare Theatre in Strat­ford-Upon-Avon by his fel­low ac­tors Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Meera Syal and Joseph Fi­ennes, mu­si­cian Ru­fus Wain­wright, rap­per Akala and com­edy star Tim Minchin, all of whom share their thoughts on the Bard's en­dur­ing in­flu­ence on the per­form­ing arts, from his home medium of the theatre, through to opera, jazz, dance and mu­si­cals. There’s also a chance to see con­tri­bu­tions by per­form­ers from the English Na­tional Opera and The Royal Bal­let. “Shake­speare gives us a 360 de­gree view of what it is to be hu­man and has in­spired cre­ativ­ity across ev­ery art form,” says Gre­gory Do­ran, the RSC’s artis­tic di­rec­tor. “This live event is the high­light of what will be an ex­tra­or­di­nary year for Shake­speare fans, and gives us a chance to cel­e­brate just how far his ge­nius has trav­elled, in­flu­enc­ing artists down the cen­turies and across the world.” As Do­ran says, there are more spe­cial pro­grammes and events on their way from the BBC and RSC. “Our am­bi­tion is to get more peo­ple ex­cited about Shake­speare than ever be­fore – through drama, great per­for­mance, documentary; fes­ti­vals and so­cial me­dia too.”

To be, or not to be David Tennant presents

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