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Live Updates

our merry band of roving reporters Ruth Levis, Philip Mattison, Jas Rao, Lindsey Chapman, Frankie Ward and Andrew Smith

All times stated are UK

  1. And tomorrow...

    We must bid you adieu and round our long day with a sleep.

    But before we go, here's a reminder of how much longer we'll continue to remember, celebrate and enjoy the words of a certain Mr William Shakespeare.

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    Video caption: ..and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow...

    Fare thee well, my friends...

  2. World online exclusive: David Tennant as Richard II

    Are you sated yet? Because there's more, much more, if you want to carry on alone with the Bard deep into the night. Grab a cup of hot milk and settle down for two hours and forty minutes of David Tennant in Richard II, available for the first time online across the world

  3. Watch: Being Hamlet

    Beale and Lester on the great Dane

    Today's live programmes may be over, but there is still a wealth of Shakespeare gold for you to plough through on the Shakespeare Lives website. Two of the greatest contemporary Hamlets, Simon Russell Beale and Adrian Lester discuss this most celebrated and challenging of roles in the elegant surroundings of the Danish ambassador’s residence in London. From Gielgud to Branagh, Olivier to Plummer, they explore the rich variety of approaches to a role to which so many actors aspire...

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    Video caption: Simon Russell Beale and Adrian Lester discuss this most celebrated and challenging role.
  4. Shakespeare Day Relived: planes, trains, automobiles... and hearses

    The cast of Globe To Globe's Hamlet told Katie Derham about their world travels and some of the unusual forms of transport used along the way.

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    Video caption: The cast reminisce over some of the unusual forms of transport they used on their travels.
  5. Shakespeare Day Relived: The Complete Walk

    Stretching along 2.5 miles of the Thames, from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge, Shakespeare's Globe have created The Complete Walk with all 37 of the Bard's plays displayed on 37 screens.

    Katie Derham was on Bankside to see the action up close...

  6. Silent Shakespeare

    How has technology transformed Shakespeare in performance? What better place to start answering this question than with the BFI's Silent Shakespeare collection, including an 1899 version of King John and fascinating facts about the early special effects in silent films.

  7. Shakespeare Day Relived: New Orleans Jazz Band

    Celebrating Shakespeare at New Place

    Wendell Brunious, leader of the New Orleans Jazz Band, lit up the streets of Stratford-upon-Avon earlier today, bursting out of a bank to lead a joyous parade in tribute to Shakespeare...

    Brunious Wendell and the New Orleans Jazz Band
    Image caption: Mr Wendell
    View more on twitter

    It was all rather reminiscent of this famous scene from James Bond film 'Live and Let Die'...

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  8. Shakespeare Day Relived: Best Bottoms in the Land

    In Brunch with the Bard, presenter Andy Akinwolere met amateur actor Chris Clarke who's playing the character of Bottom in the RSC's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

    Chris went to meet some donkeys for some inspiration to play his part...

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    Video caption: Andy Akinwolere explores one of the Bard's more colourful characters
  9. Shakespeare Day Relived: Shakespeare's ring

    This morning during Breakfast with the Bard, Suzy Klein talked to Nic Fulcher from the Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust to find out more about the exciting discoveries still being made in Stratford-upon-Avon.  

    Is this the missing ring that meant Shakespeare had to sign rather than seal his now-infamous will?

  10. This is the short and the long of it

    What a day! What a celebration! The world coming together to mark the life and work of William Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of the playwright's death.

    The day started with live broadcasts from Stratford-upon-Avon and, appropriately enough, a sighting of a swan near the river Avon.

    View more on twitter

    The celebrations have been global. The British Council have been live tweeting for just shy of 30 hours - around the clock and around the world - to mark the anniversary across the time zones.

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    Along the banks of the Thames in the city which made his name, crowds were enjoying The Complete Walk devised by Shakespeare's Globe.

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    And a big thank you to all those who've shared their favourite Shakespeare moments, memories and words online...

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  11. Listen: Branagh on Leontes

    Kenneth Branagh introduces Leontes from The Winter's Tale. Leontes, King of Sicily, wrongly suspects his wife Hermione of having an affair with his friend Polixenes, King of Bohemia.

    Performance extract from the BBC's 1981 broadcast of The Winter's Tale starring Jeremy Kemp.

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    Video caption: Kenneth chooses Leontes from The Winter's Tale.
    Quote Message: Once that green-eyed monster is in the head then [Leontes] is 'in rebellion with himself' and becomes as he puts it 'a feather for each wind that blows'. There is a quiet unravelling of the man. from Kenneth Branagh
    Kenneth Branagh
  12. Did grave robbers steal Shakespeare's skull?

    We've seen poor old Yorrick's skull being tossed about the stage this evening, but what of old Will's bones?

    A team of archaeologists has been allowed to carry out a hi-tech scan of the grave of Shakespeare, located in the graveyard of last night's commemorative concert venue, Holy Trinity Church... 

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    Video caption: A team of archaeologists has carried out a hi-tech scan of the grave Shakespeare's grave.
  13. Watch: Feste's song

    American jazz vocalist Gregory Porter performs a sonorous refrain from the lonely fool Feste in Twelfth Night in tonight's Shakespeare Live! From the RSC show... 

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    Video caption: Gregory Porter performs a sonorous refrain from the lonely fool Feste in Twelfth Night
  14. Watch: Classic BBC Shakespeare performances

    If you're following the live show at the top of this page, you're being treated to some classic Shakespeare productions from the BBC archive. 

    We've dug out a few more. David Tennant's 2008 performance of Hamlet for the RSC was hailed by the critics...

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    Video caption: Hamlet Act 1, Scene 2 excerpt

    In 2011, Jonathan Slinger's Macbeth has committed the murder of King Duncan and is overcome with guilt and fear. Aislin McGuckin's Lady Macbeth tries to reassure him...

    In this version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, also 2011, the King and Queen of the Fairies meet for the first time. Oberon was played by Jo Stone-Sewings and Titania by Pippa Nixon...

    And watch audiences gasp with horror when Othello strikes his wife...

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    Video caption: Othello strikes Desdemona
  15. Watch: "To be or not to be"

    Prince Charles has joined a host of our most treasured Shakespearean actors on the stage to have some fun with Hamlet's 'to be or not to be'. Watch Hamlet actors Simon Russell Beale and Adrian Lester recite what is arguably the most famous of Shakespeare's soliloquies...

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    Video caption: Simon Russell Beale and Adrian Lester discuss perhaps Shakespeare's most famous soliloquy
  16. Listen: Stevenson on Rosalind

    Juliet Stevenson admires Rosalind from As You Like It. Banished by the Duke, Rosalind escapes to the Forest of Arden and pretends to live as a boy, but falls in love with Orlando. As You Like it is full of entangled love affairs, cross-dressing and clever wordplay.

    Performance extract taken from the BBC's 1978 As You Like It, starring Helen Mirren as Rosalind and Brian Stirner as Orlando.

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    Video caption: Juliet chooses Rosalind from As You Like It.
    Quote Message: She's so quick witted, so nimble of thought, she's very funny, very subversive. I played her for two years... and I never felt I quite caught up with her. I love playing her but you always feel she's just ahead of you on the road dancing and conjuring language like this crazy juggler. I called my daughter after her from Juliet Stevenson
    Juliet Stevenson
  17. Watch again: All the world’s a stage

    Catherine Tate performs the famous 'seven ages of man' speech from As You Like It at the opening of tonight's show.

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    Video caption: David Tennant and Catherine Tate perform The Seven Ages of Man from As You Like It
  18. Shakespeare at weddings and funerals

    Thou know'st 'tis common; all that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity.

    So says Gertrude in Hamlet.

    The world William Shakespeare knew has long since succumbed to “devouring time”, the phrase he used in one of his sonnets to describe the relentless passing of the years. 

    In tonight's Shakespeare Live! show from the RSC, we're witnessing a host of moving Shakespearean performances - and his perennial poems are still widely recited at weddings and funerals worldwide.

    Covering everything from love and obsession to morality and death, Shakespeare’s sonnets have a strong focus on emotions and relationships.

    But why are they so enduring? And why do we turn to the Bard at the most pivotal points in our lives?

  19. Quiz: Bard or Bible?

    Throughout the day we've been crowbarring Shakespearean phrases into our prose. The first use of 'wild goose chase', for example, was by Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet...

    Nay, if thy wits run the wild-goose chase, I have done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five. 

    Wild goose chase
    Image caption: Wild goose chase

    So many of the English phrases we use every day were popularised by Shakespeare, but also by the King James Bible. Here's a quiz for you... Can you tell your Bard from your Bible?

  20. Simon Russell Beale performs Shakespeare

    Simon Russell Beale

    Simon Russell Beale was once described by The Independent newspaper as "the greatest stage actor of his generation". 

    In a career that spans over 30 years, the actor has played a host of Shakespeare's characters. 

    Now, on the 400th anniversary of the playwrights death, Beale re-enacts some of those parts.

    Watch the video.