"I saw the strangest sight tonight." New Bohemia. America. A storm. A black man finds a white baby abandoned in the night. He gathers her up - light as a star - and decides to take her home. London. England. After the financial crash. Leo Kaiser knows how to make money, but he doesn't know how to manage the jealousy he feels towards his best friend and his wife. Is his newborn baby even his?
Experience Julius Caesar as a powerful full-cast drama with entertaining and enlightening commentary that explains what's what and who's who as the plot unfolds. To help you get the most out of Shakespeare, the narrator offers historical insights and background information, so you can enjoy the jokes, appreciate the references, and get a real sense of Shakespeare's world.
BBC Radio has a unique heritage when it comes to Shakespeare. Since 1923, when the newly formed company broadcast its first full-length play, generations of actors and producers have honed and perfected the craft of making Shakespeare to be heard.
Shakespeare's Othello is one of his finest and most famous tragedies. This highly acclaimed performance, which ran between November 2007 and February 2008 at the Donmar Warehouse in London, features Chiwetel Ejiofor as the Moor Othello, Ewan McGregor as the scheming Iago, and Kelly Reilly as the gentle Desdemona. This recording features music written specifically for the stage production which enjoyed huge success - each performance was a sell-out.
Written in 1593, King Richard III is one of Shakespeare's earliest plays. This play differs from its predecessors, being amore structured piece, examining the development and motivations of a single character, Richard Duke of Gloucester, who will stop at nothing to gain control of the throne occupied by his brother Edward IV.
Sir Ian McKellen, fresh from his performance as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, is Prospero, and heads a strong cast in Shakespeare’s last great play. The wronged duke raises a tempest to shipwreck his old opponents on his island so that he can ensure justice is done. With Emilia Fox as Miranda, Scott Handy in the pivotal role of the sprite Ariel, and Ben Owukwe as Caliban.
The dead do not sleep in Denmark. Thrice the vision of the suddenly departed king has haunted the night watchmen. Upon seeing his own son, prince Hamlet, the ghost calls him away to divulge most nefarious secret. This most noble king was murdered by his own brother, Hamlet's uncle, who now wears his crown and beds his bride. To the prince he charges with the unholy quest to avenge his death and kill his murderer. Young Hamlet, shocked and amazed, swears to do the bloody deed. Thus begins one of the greatest works by the greatest English author - William Shakespeare.
Othello, a Moorish general in the service of Venice, has married Desdemona, beautiful daughter of a Venetian senator. But Iago, Othello's malignant ensign, is determined to destroy their happiness. Cunningly bending Othello to his own purposes, Iago persuades the Moor that Desdemona is unfaithful to him. Tormented in a hell of jealousy, Othello moves inexorably toward the destruction of his innocent wife and himself.
In this great tragedy, Macbeth's ambition to fulfill the three witches' prophecy that he will become King of Scotland spurs him and his wife to assassinate King Duncan. But for persistant ghosts, Lady Macbeth's conscience, and the vengeance of Duncan's son, they might have gotten away with murder!
Distressed by his father's death and his mother's over-hasty remarriage, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is faced by a specter from beyond the grave bearing a grim message of murder and revenge. The young prince is driven to the edge of madness by his struggle to understand the situation he finds himself in and to do his duty. Many others, including Hamlet's beloved, the innocent Ophelia, are swept up in his tragedy.
Shakespeare's plays - whether a comedy like A Midsummer Night's Dream, a history like Henry IV, or a tragedy like Hamlet - are treasure troves of insight into our very humanity. These 36 lectures introduce you to Shakespeare's major plays from each of these three genres and explain the achievement that makes him the leading playwright in Western civilization.
Three classic radio productions from the BBC archives starring Nigel Hawthorne, Miriam Margolyes, Geraldine McEwan and a host of celebrated acting talent. These three legendary plays, performed by some of the best-known theatrical actors of the 20th century, are the perfect way to commemorate England's greatest dramatist.
Imogen, the daughter of King Cymbeline, is persecuted by her wicked stepmother, the Queen, and by Cloten, the Queen's doltish son. Disguised as a boy, she sets out to find her husband, the banished Posthumus. On her journey, she unwittingly meets her two brothers, stolen from the court as infants. Posthumus, meanwhile, has been convinced by the villainous Iachimo that Imogen is unchaste and agrees to a test of her faithfulness.
Young Claudio has fallen for the lovely heiress Hero, who also loves him. Their path to the altar looks smooth, until the evil Don John intervenes. All ends happily, thanks to his incompetent assassins and the lucky discoveries of the bungling constable Dogberry. Central to the play, one of Shakespeare's best-loved comedies, are Beatrice and Benedick, masters of wit and sworn foes to marriage - until a plot is hatched to bring them together.
Jamie Parker stars as the Prince of Denmark in this brand new BBC Radio 4 full-cast production. At the Castle of Elsinore in Denmark, the court is uneasy. The king of Denmark has recently died and the throne has been claimed by the king's brother, Claudius. Prince Hamlet, still in mourning for his father, distrusts Claudius and believes that what has happened at the court 'cannot come to good’. The ghost of his father has told him he was murdered by Claudius.
'You can't get around Kate Battista as easily as all that.' Kate Battista is feeling stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister, Bunny? Plus, she's always in trouble at work - her preschool charges adore her, but the adults don't always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner.
"Nice and enjoy story."
In the world's most celebrated and lyrical love story, the sublime devotion of two young lovers transcends their earthly fate. The noble Veronese houses of Montague and Capulet are locked in a bitter feud. When Romeo (a Montague) and Juliet (a Capulet) fall in love, they are swept up in a series of violent events and cruel twists of fortune. Despite the passion and innocence of their love, they fall victim to the enmity between their families, and their story ends in tragedy.
"High quality radio play"
At the opening of this late Shakespearean drama, Polixenes, the king of Bohemia, has been the longtime guest of Leontes and Hermione, the king and queen of Sicily. When the time comes for Polixenes to leave, Leontes urges him to stay longer. At first Polixenes refuses, but soon he yields to the entreaties of Hermione. His rapid change of mind convinces Leontes that the two are lovers and that Polixenes is the father of Hermione's unborn child.
Love triumphs in As You Like It, Shakespeare's joyous comic adventure! Rosalind, arguably Shakespeare's greatest female character, is banished from court and follows her exiled father into the untamed Forest of Arden. Disguised as a man for safety, Rosalind's great wit and good nature show through her male trappings as she engages with fools and philosophers adrift in the woods, and ultimately falls in love.
Shakespeare's King Lear ranks with Sophocles' Oedipus as a tragic hero destroyed by his own good intentions. From the moment when Lear unfolds his darker purpose, we are drawn into an ineluctable chain of events that leads through betrayal, deceit, destructive family conflict, reconciliation, despair, and death. Considered by many to be the most grueling of Shakespeare's tragedies.
Shakespeare was heavily influenced by Holy Writ. Bible lines, characters, and narratives are "verbal characters" in his plays, poems, and sonnets, sometimes subtly and sometimes blatantly. But they are there, revealing the deep scriptural well that was the culture from which Shakespeare drew and reminding us of scenes and stories in the Bible.