Watch Fridays January 30 – February 13, 2015 at 9pm & 10pm on WMHT TV.
Six episodes combine history, biography, iconic performances, new analysis and the personal passion of its celebrated hosts — Hugh Bonneville, Christopher Plummer, Morgan Freeman, David Harewood, Kim Cattrall and Joseph Fiennes — to tell the stories behind the stories of Shakespeare’s greatest plays.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream With Hugh Bonneville
Friday, January 30, 2015 at 9pm
Hugh Bonneville started his career as an understudy for Ralph Fiennes in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Open Air Theatre in London’s Regent’s Park. He revisits the theatre where his love for Shakespeare blossomed and catches up with Ralph to talk about why the play has enduring appeal. Interviews include David Walliams and Sheridan Smith.
King Lear With Christopher Plummer
Friday, January 30, 2015 at 10pm
Actor Christopher Plummer originally played the role of King Lear under the direction of Sir Jonathan Miller, who has directed the play six times. Plummer explores how the work might have been staged during Shakespeare’s time, and acclaimed actors Sir Ian McKellen and Simon Russell Beale give their insight into playing the part of the troubled king.
The Taming of the Shrew With Morgan Freeman
Friday, February 6, 2015 at 9pm
In 1990, Morgan Freeman famously starred in a Wild West version ofThe Taming of the Shrew for Shakespeare in the Park in New York. Freeman sets out to understand how and why the play, one of the Bard’s first works, was written. Interviews include Tracey Ullman, Sinead Cusack and Julia Stiles.
Othello With David Harewood
Friday, February 6, 2015 at 10pm
In 1997, David Harewood was the first black actor to play Othello on stage at the National Theatre in London. In this episode, he unravels the complex issues of prejudice and jealousy that are threaded throughout the play, as well as returning to the National to meet the most recent actor to take on the role at the theatre, Adrian Lester. Interviews include Simon Russell Beale, Ian McKellen, Julia Stiles and Patrick Stewart.
Antony & Cleopatra With Kim Cattrall
Friday, February 13, 2015 at 9pm
Kim Cattrall has played the role of Cleopatra twice and meets others who have, as well — like Janet Suzman, who is renowned for her performance with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Together, they begin to uncover the truth behind Shakespeare’s “middle-aged” love story. Cattrall also travels to Rome and examines possible inspirations for the play. Contributors include Harriet Walter and Vanessa Redgrave.
Romeo & Juliet With Joseph Fiennes
Friday, February 13, 2015 at 10pm
Joseph Fiennes, the star of Shakespeare in Love, examines Royal Ballet productions, musicals such as West Side Story and Baz Luhrmann’s extraordinary cinematic re-imagination of Romeo & Juliet to understand why the love story remains the most adapted and performed of all of Shakespeare’s works. Features interviews with Orlando Bloom, Condola Rashad and Stephen Sondheim.