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28 January 2013 @ 03:55 pm
Shakespeare Uncovered  
Is anyone else watching Shakespeare Uncovered on PBS? I saw the first two episodes on Friday night (...and may have watched them again since in repeats. Shut up, it's not that often that there's Shakespeare on my television). Of course, because for some reason PBS doesn't advertise its Shakespeare offerings very well, all the commercials were only for the Ethan Hawke Macbeth episode, even though they showed two of them back-to-back (I get the monthly members' guide, so I was prepared for this, at least), but I suppose I should just be glad that there *were* commercials, since I never saw a single one for David Tennant's Hamlet.

Anyway. The first episode was on Macbeth, and the second on "the comedies." (In practice this was basically just Twelfth Night and As You Like It, but that was the title of the episode.) I rather liked the Macbeth one, particularly because they interviewed Antony Sher and Harriet Walter, who played Macbeth and Lady M opposite one another in 2001, so we got some lovely little details of how they played that relationship. I found Ethan Hawke a much more engaging host than I had expected; he was earnest and a little clueless, but that's not a bad thing for an introductory look at the play. Joely Richardson, on the other hand, seemed to be trying a little too hard to impress - or maybe I'm just miffed that she kept interrupting the Globe rehearsal scenes to talk about how much she loved some theme in Twelfth Night. And I didn't come to this episode with the best grace, anyway, precisely because of the decision to treat any comedy as every comedy, as so often happens: you'd never see someone cram Macbeth and Hamlet into one episode because they both deal with the murder of kings, but Twelfth Night and As You Like It both have heroines who dress up as boys, so they're obviously completely the same and couldn't possibly each deserve an episode. (I'm not saying they both should have gotten an episode, necessarily. I just think they should have picked one play and really concentrated on that one, instead of forcing everyone to talk in vague generalizations about how Shakespeare does the same things in so many of his comedies, and they have great, strong heroines, and are about the difficulties of love.)

This week we get Richard II, which I am greatly looking forward to even if Derek Jacobi does apparently get all anti-Stratfordian in spots*, and Henries IV and V, hosted by Jeremy Irons.

*I may have spent some time crooning "Jaaaaamie" in an unseemly way during the commercials for this episode, even though I have already seen his clips as Richard II thanks to the Jamie Parker Shakespeare tumblr. You'll have to guess, because I'm not telling.
Emily-- Toppington von Monocle: wooden o [shakespeare]sadcypress on January 28th, 2013 09:11 pm (UTC)
I have managed to miss ALL OF THIS. I need to get on that. I haven't seen any of my BFF, Jamie Parker's bits (NAUGHTY), and I know that they show the Blackfriars in Virginia at some point, and I like to cheer them on. :)
tempestsarekind: all the world's a stagetempestsarekind on January 28th, 2013 09:21 pm (UTC)
I think you can see the first two episodes online, if you search the PBS website! They usually put them up after they've aired on tv.

Yeah, I saw the Jamie stuff in a Tumblr post a while ago, but mostly the internet has not been forthcoming with these, so I'm glad PBS is airing them! (Someone put the whole Hamlet episode up on YouTube, because David Tennant, but that's the only one I could find before now.)

I am finally going to see the Blackfriars in Staunton this year, if all goes according to plan! I'm supposed to present a paper at the International Marlowe Conference in June. Of course, I still have to write it...
Emily-- Toppington von Monocle: gay atheist SPYsadcypress on January 28th, 2013 10:12 pm (UTC)
Yay! It's such a lovely place- I have a huge fondness for Staunton. :) I've always wanted to see their annual conference with the bears, etc- it's so damn goofy and I love it.
tempestsarekind: marlowe--he fights crimetempestsarekind on January 29th, 2013 02:13 am (UTC)
So I've heard! I don't know if the Marlowe conference is as goofy, but I'm looking forward to finding out. :)
Silvia: shakespeare // not approvesilviarambles on January 29th, 2013 10:02 am (UTC)
Derek Jacobi does apparently get all anti-Stratfordian in spots

You're in for a treat, I'm telling you... xD
tempestsarekind: the man himselftempestsarekind on January 29th, 2013 05:42 pm (UTC)
I can't say I'm looking forward to it, exactly, but sometimes rage can be fun. :)