Shakespeare on the BBC
This autumn across the BBC
This autumn, the BBC brings Shakespeare and
his stories to audiences with a variety of new
programmes and initiatives across its
services – television, radio, online and interactive.
Shakespeare on Radio 4
14 to 18 November, 3.30 to 3.45pm
Five great actors, including Simon
Russell Beale and Prunella Scales, read
extracts from five different sources
that inspired five of Shakespeare's
Each story is introduced by
Shakespeare scholar Dr. Carol Rutter,
who is Professor of English and
Comparative Literature at Warwick
Each day Carol takes a different
source and a different play and in her
introduction puts it into context and
describes how Shakespeare
transformed the material.
Monday - Othello
Taken from Italian writer Gerald
Cinthio's Hecatommithi, Simon Russell
Beale reads the story of the Moor of
Venice, his bitter jealousy and a
desperate tragedy launched in the
tangled folds of a handkerchief.
Tuesday - The Winter's Tale
Robert Greene's prose romance
Pandosto was the source for The
Winter's Tale, one of Shakespeare's
most complex plays.
Gerard Murphy reads this story of sexual jealousy
and social unrest that will only be
resolved when "that which is lost, is
Wednesday - Measure For Measure
George Whetstone's Promos and
Cassandra was taken and transformed
by Shakespeare when he wrote
Measure For Measure.
Claire Skinner reads this story of corrupt justice,
hypocrisy and social sleaze.
Thursday - Macbeth
Shakespeare found the bloody story
of Macbeth, his wife and the Weird
Sisters in Raphael Holished's
Chronicles Of England, Scotland and
It is read by Stephen Boxer.
Friday - Romeo And Juliet
Prunella Scales reads an extract from
Arthur Brooke's long poem The
Tragicall Historye Of Romeus And Juliet,
the first English account of the starcross'd