Much Ado About Shakespeare

A new series of podcasts from The Telegraph and the RSC exploring our enduring fascination with Shakespeare.

The Telegraph Much Ado About ShakespeareThroughout 2018, The Telegraph Arts Editor Ben Lawrence will introduce a series of podcasts which explore our undying fascination with the greatest playwright in the world.

You will get the chance to go behind the scenes of brand new productions and hear discussions about topics that are as relevant now as they were in Shakespeare’s day.

You can listen to or download the podcasts via the links below, The Telegraph website or your regular podcast provider. Subscribe to the podcast to hear updates and please give us a review.

 

 


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Latest and upcoming podcasts

  • Shakespeare's women

    The latest in our Much Ado About Shakespeare podcast series we look at Shakespeare's Women. Did he silence them or did he give them a strong and distinctive voice that was ahead of its time?

    • Episode 8 - In interviews chaired by The Telegraph arts writer Claire Allfree, Shakespeare’s treatment of some of the female characters in his plays is explored with three leading women in theatre. Actresses Sylvestra Le Touzel and Debbie Korley discuss their experiences of having played some of these key roles including Ophelia, Regan and Lady Percy, while Nancy Meckler talks about how she tackled directing some of these roles in her productions both for the RSC and elsewhere.

      Listen to episode 8
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor: Behind the scenes

    • Episode 9 - The Telegraph’s Ben Lawrence is in Stratford-upon-Avon to attend rehearsals of Fiona Laird's new production of Shakespeare’s knockabout comedy. Laird and her Merry Wives - Rebecca Lacey and Beth Cordingly - discuss the antics of the play, what it says about the very English preoccupation with social class and the effect of transferring the action from well-heeled Royal Berkshire to nouveau riche metropolitan Essex.

      Listen to Episode 9
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor - Is Shakespeare funny?

    • Episode 10 - The Telegraph’s Ben Lawrence is joined by Fiona Laird, director of the new production of The Merry Wives of Windsor in Stratford-upon-Avon and Professor Helen Barr of the University of Oxford, in a discussion about Shakespearean comedy. What are the challenges of bringing archaic jokes to a modern audience? How do you find the humour in such a troubling work as The Taming of the Shrew? And what is the difference between a clown and a fool?

      Listen to Episode 10

Previous podcasts

  • Introduction

    The Telegraph Arts Editor Ben Lawrence introduces Much Ado About Shakespeare

    Listen to the introduction

  • Macbeth

    Macbeth, featuring discussion on women in Macbeth with Polly Findlay (Director, Macbeth, 2018) and Dr Emma Smith (Professor at the University of Oxford), plus behind-the-scenes access (three episodes, available from 5 March).

    • Episode 1 - goes behind the scenes in the rehearsal room with Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack

      Listen to episode 1

    • Episode 2 - featuring director Polly Findlay in discussion with Dr Emma Smith about women in Macbeth

      Listen to episode 2

    • Episode 3 - Horrible Histories creator Terry Deary uncovers the mysterious curse of Macbeth

      Listen to episode 3

  • Shakespeare: 21st Century Playwright - Live recorded panel discussion

    Panel discussion with Ben Lawrence (The Telegraph Arts Editor), Gregory Doran (RSC Artistic Director) Tracy Chevalier (author of New Boy) and Iqbal Khan (director of Antony and Cleopatra, 2017), recorded live at The Other Place in Stratford-upon-Avon.

    Listen to episode 4

  • Romeo and Juliet

    Romeo and Juliet, featuring discussions on violence and young people with Erica Whyman (RSC Deputy Artistic Director and Director for Romeo and Juliet, 2018), plus behind-the-scenes access (available May).
    • Episode 5 - The Telegraph's Ben Lawrence goes behind the scenes of Romeo and Juliet and talks to Director Erica Whyman and several members of the cast - Raphael Sowole (Tybalt), Charlotte Josephine (Mercutio), Josh Finan (Benvolio) and Bally Gill (Romeo).

      Listen to episode 5

    • Episode 6  - featuring Ben Lawrence who chairs a debate with Erica Whyman and Emma Whipday, Leverhulme early career fellow at University College London, about how the play addresses violence.

      Listen to episode 6

    • Episode 7 - The Telegraph film critic Tim Robey shares his love of Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet - perhaps the greatest cinematic take on this most adapted of plays. 

      Listen to episode 7