BBC to screen new theatre recordings as part of Culture in Quarantine

BBC Culture in Quarantine

The BBC has announced a number of productions it plans on screening as part of its Culture in Quarantine arts season, as it aims to fill its schedules during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Productions from the Royal Shakespeare Company, Almeida Theatre, Emma Rice’s Wise Children, Battersea Arts Centre and Northern Ballet will be screened on the BBC and iPlayer service as part of the arts project.

Six RSC productions which all form part of the UK education syllabus will be screened as the BBC aims to focus on education while schools are closed. They include:

Hamlet (2016)  - Simon Godwin’s production starred Paapa Essiedu.
- Macbeth (2018) – Polly Findlay directed Christopher Eccleston and Miamh Cusack in as the husband and wife
- Much Ado About Nothing (2014) – Edward Bennett and Michelle Terry starred as Benedick and Beatrice in Christopher Luscombe’s production
- Othello (2015) – Iqbal Khan directed Hugh Quarshie and Lucian Msmati
- Romeo and Juliet (2018) – Erica Whyman directs Karen Fishwick and Bally Gill as the star-crossed lovers
- The Merchant of Venice (2015) – Makram J Khoury plays Shylock in Polly Findlay’s production.

Anthony Hopkins’ King Lear will also be repeated, while Russell T Davies: A Midsummer Night’s Dream will also be shown again.

Filmed during its revival run at the Almeida Theatre earlier this year, Mike Bartlett’s play Albion will be screened on BBC Four and iPlayer. Directed by Rupert Goold, Victoria Hamilton stars in the play about a mourning family dealing with struggles in national identity and family. You can read Mark Shenton's five-star review of the revival here

Emma Rice’s first production since leaving Shakespeare’s Globe, Wise Children, will be screened on BBC Four and iPlayer. The director’s musical version of Angela Carter’s novel was the inaugural production of her new company of the same name, and was filmed at York Theatre Royal in 2019.

A new play by David Greig titled Adventures With The Painted People will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3. The play was commissioned for Pitlochry Festival Theatre, and is set in the Scottish burgh 2,000 years ago following the adventures of a local woman and Roman architect. It will be produced remotely during the current nationwide lockdown.

After the remainder of their national tour was forced to be cancelled due to the virus outbreak, Balletboyz’ Deluxe, which features two new works, will be broadcast in two parts on BBC Four and iPlayer. Northern Ballet’s Dracula, choreographed by David Nixon will also be broadcast.

From Battersea Arts Centre, Beatbox Academy’s six performers will present Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with a modern twist as they tell the story from their own perspective as young people growing up in the 21st century.

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