My daughter and schoolmates have recently been assigned to act out a shortened version of Hamlet for English class. Learning the lines isn’t as bad as she expected. Researching each character’s motivations and their back stories has been a big help, especially with Jude Law and David Tennant assisting. Alas, she won’t get their help in person, but rather from the PBS series Shakespeare Uncovered. Over six episodes, some top names in the acting business investigate, ruminate and discuss the stories behind Shakespeare’s most famous works in a style that is enticing to novices and experts alike. Ethan Hawke takes on an analysis of “The Scottish Play,” better known as Macbeth. Joely Richardson and her mother, Vanessa Redgrave, explore Shakespeare’s comedies while Jeremy Irons looks at the historic value of the bard’s works. Each episode looks at past and present adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, and uncover some fascinating trivia, including nods to different events in the Shakespeare’s life that crop up in his stories. If you missed the first two episodes, look for them on rerun and be sure to catch the upcoming episodes.
Want to introduce Shakespeare to younger children? There are ways to make Shakespeare accessible for all ages!