Shakespeare on BBC Radio

Date: 24.11.2011Last updated: 24.11.2011 at 10.13

Category: Radio 3; Radio 4

The Tempest - Radio 3

BBC Radio 3 presents a new radio production of The Tempest which will focus on the soundscape of Prospero’s island.

Audio is the perfect form for this play. It is in the listeners’ imaginations that the island, Caliban, Ariel and the beautifully magical plot can realise their full potential. The bare stage will be replaced by an audio space where every nuance, every word, every action is heard and felt in incredible detail.

A play about power, corruption, love and fidelity will always be relevant. But with the changing political landscape in Britain, this is an important time to reflect upon The Tempest’s complex themes.

BBC Productions


Shakespeare Around The Globe - Radio 3

In this special series of The Essay, Shakespeare fans around the world explain his importance within their own non-English speaking nation.

BBC Productions


My Shakespeare - Radio 3 & 4

BBC Radio will broadcast a number of bite-sized programmes which combine a personal perspective on Shakespeare with a short reading from his work.

A character, a line, a speech or a play – public figures share their thoughts and insights on their favourite Shakespeare moments, mixed with actors delivering the relevant lines.

From politicians to writers and artists, scientists to comedians, each explores what it is about a specific piece of Shakespeare that means so much to them. Their reasons range from broad and evocative themes to intimate anecdotes of past experiences. Each gives a fascinating insight into the interviewees themselves, but also into the continuing and lasting relevance of Shakespeare’s writing.

My Shakespeare will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4 in 2012.

BBC Productions


Shakespeare’s Restless World - Radio 4

In a 20-part series to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4, Neil MacGregor, the Director of the British Museum, looks at the world through the eyes of Shakespeare’s audience by exploring objects from that turbulent period.

Examining these objects, Neil discusses how Shakespeare’s audiences understood and made sense of the unstable and rapidly changing world in which they lived. With old certainties shifting around them, in a time of political and religious unrest and economic expansion, Neil asks what the plays would have meant to the public when they were first performed.

Neil uses objects to explore the great issues of the day that preoccupied the public and helped shape the works and considers what they can reveal about the concerns and beliefs of Shakespearean England.

Contributing to the programmes will be Shakespeare scholars, historians and experts on witchcraft and warfare, fencing and food, luxury trade and many other topics. They discuss the issues these objects raise – everything from exploration and discovery to violence, entertainment and the plague.

The objects, drawn mainly from collections around the country, vary from the magnificent to the prosaic, from the ceremonial to the everyday. With fresh insights into the restless world of Shakespeare’s day, this series brings a new perspective to how we view our most famous playwright’s work 400 years on.

The objects will be available to view and the programmes available to download and keep online at

The series will be another partnership project between the BBC and the British Museum.

BBC Productions


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