Shakespeare Uncovered on PBS: Hamlet and The Tempest
By Ellis Nassour
"To be, or not to be: that is the question." "Hell is empty and all the devils are here." These lines from Hamlet and The Tempest are among Shakespeare’s most quoted.
On Friday at 9 P.M., in the last duo of Shakespeare Uncovered on PBS, Royal Shakespeare Company’s David Tennant, a recent and memorable Hamlet for the RSC, plumbs the deeper meanings of the play and meets fellow actors who’ve taken on the Great Dane to compare notes and how they played a character "that’s been played a million different ways." Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most celebrated and performed works. Jude Law and Ben Whishaw are among the iconic actors who’re interviewed on the role’s "titanic challenges."
Olivier, Tony, and Drama Desk-winning director, American Theater Hall of Fame member, and a former artistic director of the RSC Trevor Nunn, who’s helmed 30 of Shakespeare’s 37 plays (and plans to soon do the remainder), takes viewers through the otherworldly, supernatural, and magical The Tempest, the last of the bard’s completed works. He not only explores the biographical natured of the play, but also discusses the play’s stagecraft with Oscar winner Dame Helen Mirren, a former Prospera, and Tony and Drama Desk winner Julie Taymor, who’s directed a film adaptation.
If you missed the first two installments of Shakespeare Uncovered: Macbeth, hosted by Ethan Hawke, and The Shakespeare Comedies, hosted by Joely Richardson; and Richard II with Derek Jacobi and Henry IV and Henry V, with Jeremy Irons, watch at PBS.com.
If you wish to purchase the DVD of the series, go to www.shopPBS.com. Shakespeare Uncovered is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation, and viewers like you.
In a playful mood? Do you wish to know which Shakespeare character you are? Take the quiz at pbs.org/…/Shakespeare-uncovered/…/which-shakespeare-character-are-you/.