In Shakespeare And Love, BBC Radio 3 brings together two of Shakespeare’s best loved plays – one tragedy and one comedy – that both have love and the mad dance on which it leads us at their heart.
Romeo And Juliet and Twelfth Night will be performed by a single company of actors cast across both productions.
In Romeo And Juliet, the sweetest love story ends in bitter tragedy as the youthful and light-hearted protagonists find themselves embroiled in a darker story than they can ever have imagined.
In Twelfth Night, Shakespeare begins with death and unrequited love as a lady shuts herself away while mourning for her brother; and a duke declares himself sick with love only to find their melancholy overturned by witty deceits that lead to the happiest of outcomes for nearly all.
The 2011 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Pier Productions, which was recorded in Sussex woodland) will also be repeated as part of Shakespeare And Love – and the programmes will be accompanied by a five-part series of The Essay in which five writers explore Shakespeare’s portrayal of love.