The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced that Simon Godwin’s landmark 2016 production of Hamlet, starring Paapa Essiedu in the title role, will be broadcast on BBC Four on Sunday 21 June at 9pm, as part of the Culture in Quarantine series.
This follows Polly Findlay‘s acclaimed, contemporary production of Shakespeare’s darkest psychological thriller, Macbeth, starring Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack, which will be broadcast on BBC Four this Sunday, 14 June at 9.30pm.
Macbeth premiered at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in Spring 2018 and transferred to the Barbican in November of the same year.
Simon Godwin‘s production of Hamlet opened the 400th anniversary year of Shakespeare’s death in 2016 in Stratford-upon-Avon, and Paapa Essiedu later reprised the role for the 2018 UK tour and in Washington DC.
Other confirmed RSC titles being broadcast on BBC Four this June include Much Ado About Nothing (2014, directed by Christopher Luscombe, with Edward Bennett as Benedick and Michelle Terry as Beatrice); Othello (2015, directed by Iqbal Khan, with Hugh Quarshie in the title role and Lucian Msamati as Iago) and The Merchant of Venice (2015, directed by Polly Findlay, with Makram J. Khoury as Shylock).
All six RSC Culture in Quarantine productions are currently part of the UK education syllabus and the broadcast will be supported by a week-long programme of GCSE lesson plans themed around Romeo and Juliet taking place from Monday 15 to Friday 19 June as part of BBC Bitesize Daily.
Focussing on Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth, the lessons will offer special insights from RSC actors and directors about how to decode Shakespeare’s language and bring 400-year-old plays to life for today’s audiences.
Details of future broadcast details will be announced in due course.