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Thread: TV Shakespeare

  1. #1
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    Default TV Shakespeare

    Details have now been published about BBC Two's Shakespeare Season for 2012:

    Richard II (Ben Whishaw)
    Henry IV Pt 1 (Jeremy Irons)
    Henry IV Pt 2
    Henry V (Tom Hiddlestone)

    [I feel a 'Hurrah for the Olympics' coming on ...]

  2. #2
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    Looks good, ff - especially RII, one of my favourites of the plays.

    It'd be much easier to read the press release if they didn't include the actors' other TV claims to fame in parentheses (and I think the actors might feel it was unflattering that they had to be referred to).

    I don't think it'll make me raise a 'Hurrah for the Olympics' though - it's only what the Beeb should be doing anyway, and used to do without the excuse of the Olympics in the past.

  3. #3
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    Great news, but I completely agree with aeolium that

    Quote Originally Posted by aeolium View Post
    it's only what the Beeb should be doing anyway
    as opposed to sending Simon Russell Beale to Paris to be seen walking though the barriers at Bastille metro station to illustrate a reference to revolutionary France (and countless similar instances)
    "There is not much to see here," said I.
    "Nor to hear, miss," returned Mr Vholes. "A little music does occasionally stray in; but we are not musical in the law, and soon eject it."


    Bleak House, Chapter 60

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    Quote Originally Posted by aeolium View Post
    Looks good, ff - especially RII, one of my favourites of the plays.

    It'd be much easier to read the press release if they didn't include the actors' other TV claims to fame in parentheses (and I think the actors might feel it was unflattering that they had to be referred to).

    I don't think it'll make me raise a 'Hurrah for the Olympics' though - it's only what the Beeb should be doing anyway, and used to do without the excuse of the Olympics in the past.
    I completely agree aeolium esp the bit about the actors' other claims to fame (). If the Olympix is what it takes I guess I'm grateful but it does seem to have been such a long time a-coming.

  5. #5
    PatrickOD Guest

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    Time enough then to get out the Plays and do a bit of homework. It's a long long time since I read them, and 'did' two of them at school, and I don't believe I ever got to see any of them. My one abiding memory of Shakespeare in my home town is of the spontaneous applause by the audience after the FILM of Richard III!

  6. #6
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    Time for the BBC to wheel out Lenny Henry again (its been a month so long overdue !) to tell us all how he used to not like Shakespeare but has become converted etc etc etc etc
    and how great it all is ,,,,,,,, if only teachers would blah blah zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  7. #7
    Panjandrum Guest

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    Extremely lazy programming. Has no-one at the BBC ever read The White Devil; Volpone; Dr Faustus; or The Changeling? Rhetorical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Panjandrum View Post
    Has no-one at the BBC ever read The White Devil; Volpone; Dr Faustus; or The Changeling? Rhetorical.
    Of course they have, Panjandrum - it's the ordinary people who have only heard of Shakespeare ...

    The press releases always include the 'also starred in' details for the benefit of the press to give them something to pad out their stories with. What really riles me is when they include it in the online Drama on 3 details. Lazy and irrelevant.

    Richard II also one of my favourites - don't know much about the Henry IVs. I wonder whether a television 'film' is more expensive than a television 'play'.

  9. #9
    Panjandrum Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by french frank View Post
    Of course they have, Panjandrum - it's the ordinary people who have only heard of Shakespeare ...
    Yes, but Joe Public is not going to be watching, I'll wager you.

    It's basically the equivalent of Radio 3 only playing Beethoven. Can you tell me when was the last time any dramatist before the 20th century was performed on television other than the bard? Can you remember any productions of Shaw, Jonson, Middleton, Marlowe et al? These are hardly negligible playwrights: indeed, Dr Faustus exerted at least as large an influence on mainstream european literature as any work of Shakespeare over the course of the 17th and 18th centuries.

    How much more enterprising a series putting Shakespeare into context alongside his contemporaries would have been.

  10. #10
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    I don't think it's lazy programming - lazy programming is what you have now, which is no classic drama at all, Shakespeare or otherwise. IIRC there have been productions of Marlowe and Shaw on TV in recent years (Shaw perhaps as recently as last year). To expect a flood of Elizabethan and Jacobean TV drama productions to appear in the desert that is BBC TV's arts scheduling is to stretch expectation too far.

    Anyway, 'lazy programming' which gives us a production of Richard II is OK in my book.

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