Shakespeare’s birthday box set

THE Royal Shakespeare Company has released a “box set” of six plays to celebrate William Shakespeare’s 456th birthday on 23rd April. Each will be available on the site for several weeks, so that viewers can see them all.

The scheme marks a new collaboration between BBC Arts and the RSC, as part of a “Culture in Quarantine” initiative.

You can see Christopher Eccleston starring as Macbeth opposite Niamh Cusack, Hugh Quarshie as Othellow with Lucian Msamati as Iago, Bally Gill and Karen Fishwick as Romeo and Juliet, Makram J Khoury as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Michelle Terry and Edward Bennett as Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing and Paapa Essiedu as Hamlet (pictured left).

The RSC also marked the Bardid birthday with the #ShareYourShakespeare campaign, a community-driven digital project to encourage audiences to show what Shakespeare means to them.

Dan McGolpin, controller of programming and iPlayer, says: “In these difficult times, people are using BBC iPlayer more than ever; to watch the latest news coverage, to learn something new and to sit back and be entertained.”