On Saturday 23 April 2016 an OU/BBC co-production with the RSC will mark Shakespeare’s birthday and the 400th anniversary of his death with Shakespeare Live! From the RSC in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, hosted by David Tennant. This will be shown live on BBC2 at 20:30 and will also be screened live to 368 cinemas in the UK and Europe.
David Tennant will be joined by Judi Dench, Rufus Wainwright, Ian McKellen, Joseph Fiennes, English National Opera, Meera Syal, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Paapa Essiedu, Alison Moyet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Al Murray and the Royal Ballet, Helen Mirren, Gregory Porter, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rory Kinnear, Rufus Hound, Henry Goodman, The Shires, David Suchet, Simon Russell Beale, Roger Allam, Antony Sher, Harriet Walter, John Lithgow, Alexandra Gilbreath, Tim Minchin, Anne Marie Duff, Pippa Nixon, Orchestra of the Swan, the cast of Horrible Histories and Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra. This once-in-a-life-time cast, assembled and directed by Gregory Doran, Artistic Director of the RSC, will come together to stage a unique show in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The performance will be given in front of an invited audience, which will include His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, President of the RSC, and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, as well as RSC supporters, partner schools, theatres and local residents.
The programme features Shakespeare-inspired work spanning the musical genres, including hip-hop, blues, musical theatre, jazz, opera and classical numbers based on his plays. The show will open with a rendition of ‘Tonight’ from West Side Story, choreographed by Will Tuckett and performed by 19 of the most gifted musical theatre students from across the UK. Country duo The Shires will perform a special interpretation of Shakespeare’s poem ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’; Henry Goodman and Rufus Hound will give their own rendition of Brush Up Your Shakespeare from the musical Kiss Me Kate; and the Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra will perform Duke Ellington’s Such Sweet Thunder.
Dr Jonathan Gibson is academic consultant for the programme, and Dr Chris Williams is the Arts Faculty Media Fellow.
OpenLearn has extensive resources and information on Shakespeare to support this programme and other programmes that mark the 400th anniversary. http://www.open.edu/openlearn/histo…