Shakespeare Uncovered Final Episodes: Hamlet and The Tempest

February 8, 2013 – 9:00 pm ET (check local listings)
Hamlet with David Tennant
The Tempest with Trevor Nunn

Shakespeare fans are having a field day with the new PBS series Shakespeare Uncovered and this week’s final two episodes provide even more thought-provoking information and insight into two of Shakespeare’s venerable classics. In Episode #5, David Tennant, who starred in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet, meets with other actors who have portrayed the Danish prince, including Jude Law. He also discusses the play’s meaning with Simon Russell Beale and Ben Whishaw. In the finale, director Trevor Nunn examines Shakespeare’s final complete play, The Tempest, which he sees as Shakespeare’s farewell to the stage and inspired by issues drawn from the playwright’s life. Happy viewing. www.pbs.org

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This Week on Shakespeare Uncovered: Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V

February 1, 2013 – 9:00 pm ET (check local listings)
Richard II with Derek Jacobi
Henry IV & Henry V with Jeremy Irons

The six-part series continues as Derek Jacobi looks at Richard II, and returns to a role he played 30 years ago…the story of a king who loses a crown. The episode will include scenes from a new, upcoming PBS film of the play featuring Ben Whishaw and Patrick Stewart. Jeremy Irons then uncovers the enduring appeal of Shakespeare’s history plays, Henry IV and Henry V, from the facts of English history to the father-son drama that Shakespeare created. He discloses what Shakespeare’s sources were, and how he distorted them. He invites the viewer behind the scenes at the filming of some of the most important sequences in the new Great Performances adaptations of the plays, starring Irons, with Tom Hiddleston as Prince Hal. www.pbs.org

PBS Series “Shakespeare Uncovered” Will Premiere January 25, 2013

The long-awaited PBS series, Shakespeare Uncovered, premieres Friday, January 25 at 9:00 pm ET (check local listings) with two episodes back-to-back. In the first episode, Ethan Hawke invites viewers on his quest to play Shakespeare’s murderous Thane of Cawdor by researching the true story and real-life events that served as the play’s inspiration.

In the second episode, airing at 10:00 pm ET, Joely Richardson investigates (with her mother Vanessa Redgrave) the legacy of Twelfth Night and As You Like It, two brilliant cross-dressing comedies, with their missing twins, mistaken identities, and characters in disguise; their connections to Shakespeare’s personal life; and the great romantic heroines created by Shakespeare.

The complete series consists of six episodes:

January 25, 2013
Macbeth with Ethan Hawke
The Comedies with Joely Richardson

February 1, 2013
Richard II with Derek Jacobi
Henry IV & Henry V with Jeremy Irons

February 8, 2103
Hamlet with David Tennant
The Tempest with Trevor Nunn

Shakespeare Uncovered combines history, biography, iconic performances, new analysis, and the personal passions of its celebrated hosts to tell the stories behind the stories of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. Each program’s host has deep personal experience with Shakespeare’s work and relates not only the stories of the plays themselves, but also the stories of how they came to be written, how they have been performed, and how they have survived over 400 years. For more about the series and to check local times go to www.pbs.org/wnet/shakespeare-uncovered.

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