The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and the BBC will mark William Shakespeare’s birthday on 23 April by releasing six productions to view on BBC iPlayer.
The RSC productions available to watch are:
Macbeth with Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack
Othello with Hugh Quarshie in the title role and Lucian Msamati as Iago
Romeo and Juliet with Bally Gill as Romeo and Karen Fishwick as Juliet
The Merchant of Venice with Makram J Khoury as Shylock
Much Ado About Nothing with Edward Bennett as Benedick and Michelle Terry as Beatrice
Hamlet with Paapa Essiedu in the title role
Following the release of the ‘box set’, the shows will remain on BBC iPlayer for a number of weeks to allow uses to watch all them
The collaboration between the RSC and BBC Arts is part of the broadcasters new “Culture in Quarantine” initiative which aims to provide an audience for British arts and culture via its numerous platforms including BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, BBC Two, BBC Four, BBC Sounds, BBC iPlayer and their digital platforms.
Dan McGolpin, controller of programming and iPlayer, says: “In these difficult times, people are using BBC iPlayer more than ever; to watch the latest news coverage, to learn something new and to sit back and be entertained.”
The “Culture in Quarantine” initiative also includes Emma Rice’s Wise Children, Almeida Theatre’s Albion, productions from Birmingham Royal Ballet, and the upcoming Unprecedented: Real Time Theatre from a State of Isolation, a series of short, digital plays written and performed in isolation.
The RSC will also mark the bards birthday with the #ShareYourShakespeare campaign, a community-driven digital project to encourage audiences to show what Shakespeare means to them.