Dive into Shakespeare with “Shakespeare Uncovered” on NPT

David Tennant and Jude Law discuss the challenges of playing Hamlet

David Tennant and Jude Law discuss the challenges of playing Hamlet on Shakespeare Uncovered

William Shakespeare will get the full PBS treatment in Shakespeare Uncovered, a six-part series to show on Nashville Public Television on three consecutive Saturday evenings starting January 26.

Originally broadcast on the BBC, Shakespeare Uncovered combines history, biography, iconic performance, analysis and the personal passion of its hosts — Ethan Hawke, Jeremy Irons, Derek Jacobi, Trevor Nunn, Joely Richardson and David Tennant — to tell the stories behind some of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. Each episode combines interviews with actors, directors and scholars, along with visits to key locations, clips from some of the most celebrated film and television adaptations and illustrative excerpts from the plays especially staged for the series at Shakespeare’s Globe in London.

Shakespeare Uncovered Premieres on Nashville Public Television, Saturday, January 26 at 9 p.m. with Ethan Hawk researching the role of Macbeth (appropriate, right?).

The full schedule (so you can set your DVRs) is as follows:

Saturday, January 26
9:00-10:00 p.m.
Macbeth with Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke invites viewers to join him in his quest to play Shakespeare’s murderous Thane of Cawdor by uncovering the true story that served as inspiration.

10:00-11:00 p.m.
The Comedies with Joely Richardson
Joely Richardson, along with her mother Vanessa Redgrave, investigates the legacy of the two brilliant cross-dressing comedies Twelfth Night and As You Like It.

Jeremy Irons, right, discussing “Henry IV” and “Henry V” with Dominic Dromgoole of the Globe Theater.

Jeremy Irons, right, discussing “Henry IV” and “Henry V” with Dominic Dromgoole of the Globe Theater.

Saturday, February 2
9:00-10:00 p.m.
Richard II with Derek Jacobi
Derek Jacobi returns to a role he played 30 years ago, coaches actors at the Globe in aspects of the play, reveals why it could have cost Shakespeare his life.

10:00-11:00 p.m.
Henry IV & Henry V with Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons uncovers the enduring appeal of Shakespeare’s “history plays,” from the facts of English history to the father-son drama that Shakespeare created.

Saturday, February 9
9:00-10:00 p.m.
Hamlet with David Tennant
David Tennant meets with fellow Hamlets, including superstar Jude Law, comparing notes on the titanic challenge of playing the most iconic of all roles.

10:00-11:00 p.m.
The Tempest with Trevor Nunn
Trevor Nunn, the legendary director who has directed 30 of Shakespeare’s 37 plays, takes viewers through the magical and mysterious world created in Shakespeare’s last complete play.

We know what we will be doing for the next three weeks!

Shakespeare Uncovered also has a companion website that is an amazing resource for videos, classroom materials and all around Shakespeare fun.

Shakespeare Uncovered is produced by Blakeway Productions, 116 Films and Thirteen in association with Shakespeare’s Globe. Richard Denton, producer; Bill O’Donnell, series producer; Stephen Segaller and David Horn, executive producers for Thirteen; Fiona Stourton, executive producer for Blakeway.

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