Television

BBC gives Shakespeare a makeover in the UK

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MUMBAI: This is an attempt by UK broadcaster BBC One to fulfill its committment to engage and entertain the widest possible audience with Shakespeare's stories in new and original ways. To this end BBC One has commenced production on four modern adaptations of Shakespeare plays.     

Shirley Henderson will play Kate opposite Rufus Sewell's Petruchio in Sally Wainwright's version of The Taming of the Shrew. In the new version the vitriolic, aggressive and shrewish, Kate is an opposition MP who is instructed to find herself a husband to make her more electable. The romantic comedy explores the complexities of relationships against a backdrop of glamorous London circles and politics.

Much Ado About Nothing gets a makeover with a television flavour. Actress Sarah Parish plays Beatrice, presenter of a popular early evening regional news show. Her ex-lover and arch enemy Benedick, played by Damian Lewis, is hired as her co-anchor. One of the Bards most famous tragedies Macbeth is transposed to the enclosed and heated world of a top restaurant kitchen.

BBC head of drama series and serials Laura Mackie says, "There have been modern versions of Shakespeare before but these new interpretations remain true to the originals. At the same time, they are unashamedly a very personal take by each writer - our aspiration is that they work on their own terms for a modern audience."

The BBC is also working with the Shakespeare Schools Festival on a celebration of Shakespeare with a one-off festival night across the UK on 3 July. 10,000 children (aged 11-16) from 400 schools will perform abridged plays in 100 theatres.

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