What it is
On 23 April, the world will be celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare and the British Council in partnership with the BBC will be live streaming visuals of celebrations from Shakespeare's birth place in Straford upon Avon, among other locations in the UK.
We will also be launching a six-month activity of screenings and showcases of Shakespeare celebrations, which will be available on the BBC iPlayer from 23 April onwards.
The programme for the live stream includes:
• Three visits to Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London, as the cast and crew of Hamlet return from a two-year round the world tour and prepare for their homecoming performances. There will also be a showcase of the Complete Walk: 37 screens playing a series of specially-made films, with stars including Mel Giedroyc, Meera Syal and Peter Capaldi, along a 2.5 mile route between Westminster and Tower Bridge in London.
• Simon Russell Beale and Adrian Lester explore Shakespeare’s most challenging role: Hamlet.
• An online exclusive of David Tennant’s acclaimed performance as Richard II staged by the RSC.
Catch exclusive content on BBC iPlayer:
The six-month curated programme after 23rd April will involve content from not-for-profit arts organisations like the British Film Institute, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Hay Festival, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Royal Opera House.
Programmes will include:
• Shakespeare on Stage, Screen and Elsewhere, with Ian McKellen: a British Film Institute production, in which Ian McKellen shares his unique insights into the problems and joys of interpreting Shakespeare for the theatre, television, radio and cinema.
• David Tennant’s performance as Richard II in the latest production of the play from the Royal Shakespeare Company.
• A performance at Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare is buried, by Ex Cathedra of ‘A Shakespeare Masque – a contemporary Ode to Shakespeare’, written by the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, with music composed by Sally Beamish.