Shakespeare Day Live: The full BBC iPlayer line-up
Ivan Radford | On 19, Apr 2016Reading time: 6 mins
Saturday 23rd April marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death – and BBC iPlayer is celebrating in style.
Shakespeare Day Live will take place across the whole of Saturday, with a host of events streaming live on a dedicated pop-up channel: bbc.co.uk/shakespearelives
Programmes will be available to watch for free, wherever you are in the world, with the BBC and the British Council teaming up to co-curate a line-up that features contributions from the Royal Opera House, Shakespeare’s Globe, the BFI, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Hay Festival and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
From David Tennant’s Richard II to rehearsals of a ballet based on The Winter’s Tale, here’s your VOD TV guide to the BBC iPlayer event, including the titles available to watch on-demand. (For non-UK viewers, head to the Shakespeare Lives pop-up site to stream everything below on-demand, except for Shakespeare Live! from the RSC.)
Shakespeare Live! From the RSC
The BBC and the Royal Shakespeare Company come together in an extravaganza on BBC Two, celebrating Shakespeare’s words and his enduring influence on all performance art forms – from opera to jazz, dance to musicals.
The event will be hosted by David Tennant, directed by Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director, and will include appearances from Dame Judi Dench, ENO, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Ian Bostridge, Joseph Fiennes and Akala.
This is also being screened in cinemas around the UK and Europe, with Australia and US cinemagoers able to watch it on the big screen on 6th May and 23rd May respectively.
Garrick’s Shakespeare Ode
A world-premiere commemorative concert in the Holy Trinity Church, Stratford upon Avon, where Shakespeare was baptised and buried. Choral group Ex Cathedra and City Musick perform Thomas Arne’s 18th-century musical setting of An Ode To Shakespeare by David Garrick – the 18th-century actor and theatre manager responsible for our modern-day appreciation of The Bard; and A Shakespeare Masque, specially written for the event by the Poet Laureate Dame Carol Ann Duffy, composed by Sally Beamish, and narrated by actor Sam West. Presented by Sara Mohr-Pietsch and broadcast in conjunction with BBC Radio 3.
Shakespeare on Stage, Screen And Elsewhere, with Ian McKellen
A recording of the BFI’s Q&A with Ian McKellen from April 2016, in which the actor shares his unique insights into the problems and joys of interpreting Shakespeare for the theatre, television, radio and cinema.
Simon Russell Beale and Adrian Lester discuss Shakespeare’s most celebrated and challenging role.
Ralph Fiennes leads a young cast in Elliot Barnes-Worrell’s debut film, weaving the language of Shakespeare into a modern tale of fleeting love and shattered honour.
Broadcast live at 12.30pm, this short film follows the return of the cast and crew of Hamlet, produced by Shakespeare’s Globe, to Bankside after a two-year, round-the-world tour.
Breakfast With The Bard
In collaboration with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Suzy Klein and guests give an exclusive preview of the newly commissioned artworks and archaeology shaping the story of Shakespeare’s New Place for the 21st century.
Ballet, Opera And The Bard
An exploration of Shakespeare in ballet and opera, provided by the Royal Opera House.
Richard II (David Tennant)
David Tennant’s performance as Richard II in the recent production of the play from the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The Complete Walk
Presenter Katie Derham celebrates the opening of The Complete Walk, all 37 Shakespeare plays each represented by new films created by Shakespeare’s Globe and shown on 37 big screens stretching from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge on this special day.
Silent Shakespeare with the BFI
We visit Birmingham’s Mailbox sees Andy Akinwolere explore the BFI’s Silent Shakespeare collection with BFI Curator of Silent Film, Bryony Dixon – who will also discuss the BFI’s new film Play On! Shakespeare In Silent Cinema and the making of the music for the film with musicians and composers from Shakespeare’s Globe, plus updates from social media activity.
After a two-year world tour to almost every country, Shakespeare’s Globe’s production of Hamlet returns home. Katie Derham joins the cast and crew on their triumphant return to the Globe stage as they are welcomed back by artistic director Dominic Dromgoole.
Opera And Ballet With The Bard
Great music and performance from the world of ballet and opera, presented by Ore Oduba. We join Royal Ballet Principals Lauren Cuthbertson and Edward Watson at The Royal Opera House as they rehearse Christopher Wheeldon’s three-act ballet, The Winter’s Tale. The hour will also feature rehearsals of the potion scene from Kenneth MacMillan’s classic Romeo And Juliet and music from Verdi’s two great Shakespearean operas Otello and Falstaff.
New Shakespeare Songbook
Shakespeare was a songwriter as well as a playwright, with songs appearing in many of his greatest plays. To mark the 400th anniversary of his death, the BBC and the European Broadcasting Union have commissioned a New Shakespeare Songbook inviting composers and musicians throughout Europe to write new songs based on the Bard’s texts. Presenter Andy Akinwolere takes us on a musical journey through Europe as contemporary songwriters respond to the poetry of Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays.
Sound Of Cinema
The BBC Concert Orchestra celebrates the music of Shakespeare on film. Classic scores, from Olivier’s Henry V, Greenaway’s Prospero’s Books to Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing, are given the full symphonic treatment under the baton of Shakespeare enthusiast and BBC CO Principal Conductor Keith Lockhart. Presented by Matthew Sweet from King Edward School, Stratford upon Avon.
The Late Plays
With exclusive performances from inside the candle-lit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Katie Derham explores the world of Shakespeare’s Late Plays, which Dominic Dromgoole has been staging to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
Students from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow University and Glasgow School of Art collaborate with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra on a programme of delights featuring music, dance, composition and British Sign Language. The performance, broadcast live from Bute Hall, University of Glasgow, features four intertwining pieces inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream, including a special recording by David Tennant. The programme is curated by Graham McLaren, currently associate director for the National Theatre of Scotland, and presented by Jamie MacDougall.
Main photo: Royal Shakespeare Company