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Alan Davies talks to actors, including Lennie James, to find out how they engage with their audience to make their representation of Shakespearian characters as realistic as possible. James focuses on the use of facial expressions and the effectiveness of soliloquies, whereas Toby Cockerall discusses the difficulties encountered by an actor who plays two parts. Davies uses clips from a 1997 production of 'Henry V' and some references to Macbeth to illustrate the points made by the actors. Davies concludes by comparing the challenges faced by contemporary and Shakespearian actors.
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First broadcast:
9 May 2008

Classroom Ideas

Could be used during the study of a Shakespeare text to enable students to develop a deeper understanding of the language of Shakespeare's plays. The references to 'dark' in Macbeth, discussed during the clip, provides a very useful illustration of how Shakespeare guides his audience using language as a replacement for the more complex staging techniques available to a modern theatre company.

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