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Shakespeare season announced for ‘The Shows Must Go On’

Enjoy the Bard’s best works this November, all livestreamed for free.

Photo credit: Simon Callow (Photo by Joel Ryan/AP)

Updated: 23 November 2020

Following “The Greats On Tour”, a new season of work has been confirmed for The Shows Must Go On. The online channel will broadcast a new production written by William Shakespeare each Monday, including performances by acting greats like Patrick Stewart and David Tennant.

The series begins with Being Shakespeare, available to watch from 2 November. Performed at Trafalgar Studios in 2011, Simon Callow stars in the one-man play, tracing Shakespeare’s life and catalogue of plays. In a review for LondonTheatre.co.uk, Peter Brown said: “This is the kind of production which all can enjoy and learn from. Jonathan Bate's superb play presents us with the life of an ordinary man who, through chance and experience, understood what it was to be human, and presented that knowledge through his wonderfully inventive use of language. Simon Callow's inspirational performance captures Shakespeare's talent and humanity perfectly.” 

The season continues with the 1997 televised movie adaptation of Richard II, starring Fiona Shaw as the titular king. More recently known for starring in Killing Eve and the Harry Potter films as Petunia Dursley, her theatre credits include Electra, Machinal and Medea. Richard II is available to watch from 9 November.

Audiences will also be able to watch Patrick Stewart as Macbeth from 16 November. First performed in Chichester, Stewart reprised his performance at the Gielgud Theatre in 2007. In a review for LondonTheatre.co.uk, Peter Brown commented on Stewart’s portrayal: “If there was ever any question about Stewart's position as one of the country's top actors, he left us in no doubt, particularly in the second half when the play really gets into its stride, and Macbeth's guilt overcomes him. In fact, it's the transition from puzzled soldier to crazed, tyrant that is the key feature in Stewart's flawless portrayal.” 

The series will conclude with a round-up of famous Shakespearean sonnets, available to watch from 23 November. David Tennant will perform as part of the show, alongside Simon Callow, Kim Cattrall, Noma Dumezweni, Stephen Fry and Dominic West.

You can watch Shakespeare's Sonnets below.

Photo credit: Simon Callow (Photo by Joel Ryan/AP)

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