iPlayer Radio What's New?
The Once and Future King - The Candle in the Wind

Shakespeare's Restless World - starting Monday 16 April

Friday 13 April 2012, 16:56

Katherine Campbell Katherine Campbell WW1 Producer

Detail from the shield of Henry V

Detail from Henry V's shield. Copyright: The Dean and Chapter of Westminster 2012

In this year of celebration for all things Shakespeare, Radio 4 and the British Museum bring you Shakespeare's Restless World - a series of 20 programmes that begins on Monday 16 April. This series and website have been produced by the same team that brought you A History of the World in 100 Objects, and is a partnership between Radio 4 programme makers, the British Museum curatorial team and interactive teams from both organisations.

To quote from Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum and presenter of the series, the programmes will try "to get inside the heads of the people who lived here over 400 years ago ... (to) imagine what the world looked like to the groundlings inside the Globe theatre around 1600". Read more on the British Museum blog.

Through a range of objects from the British Museum and collections across the UK, the programmes will explore the turbulent times that Shakespeare inhabited, where violence, persecution, disease and unrest were all familiar to our Elizabethan theatre goer. We'll hear from experts and historians, and how the themes of the time weave through Shakespeare's work.

The programmes will be available to download - sign up for these now. Explore the objects that illustrate these themes - play with the deep zoom and get in really close. Admire the intricacy of a musical clock or the tracks of Francis Drake's circumnavigation of the globe on a commemoration medal.

There's also a collection of programmes from Radio 4's growing archive that illustrate the themes of the series. Find these on each of the programme pages - or gathered together on the Discovery page. Listen in to Empire from This Sceptred Isle, rediscover Voices of the Powerless - Melvyn Bragg's study of ordinary people, originally broadcast in 2002, or specially selected episodes from In Our Time's stunning archive. A theme such as Shakespeare's world can inspire a listener in many ways and these seasons give us a chance to shine a light on programmes from our archive that can lead to a richer understanding of the ideas, places and people from that time. Happy exploring.

The site is optimised for mobiles and tablets - if you're reading this on your phone, go here each day to listen to and download the programmes, watch the videos and explore the objects.

And if you have a burning question for Neil MacGregor, we'll be running a live blog on April 23rd, just after the programme at 2pm. Neil MacGregor and Barrie Cook, Curator at the British Museum, will be online to answer your questions. Keep an eye out for information on how to take part - looking forward to seeing you there.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash Installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.


Jump to comments pagination

This entry is now closed for comments

Share this page

More Posts

In Our Time: Quakers and Early Geology

Friday 13 April 2012, 13:00

Playing At War

Tuesday 17 April 2012, 11:03

About this Blog

Behind the scenes at Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra from producers, presenters and programme makers.

Blog Updates

Stay updated with the latest posts from the blog.

Subscribe using:

What are feeds?

Follow Radio 4

Follow BBC Radio 4 & BBC Radio 4 Extra on Twitter for programme highlights and interesting retweets. 

Woman's Hour Power List 2014

Identifying the top ten game changers operating in the UK today.
See the latest on our blog
Find out about this year's panel and theme
Woman's Hour Power List judges, 2014 Woman's Hour Power List judges, 2014


Identifying the top ten game changers operating in the UK today.


See the latest on our blog


Find out about this year's panel and theme