Much Ado About Shakespeare

Much Ado About Shakespeare

By The Telegraph

A series of podcasts in which we'll go behind the scenes of brand new productions from the RSC and discuss the themes behind the plays of the world's greatest ever writer.


Wealth and power in Timon of Athens

In the final episode of the series, Ben Lawrence chairs a discussion with Simon Godwin and Dr Sarah Dustagheer about what Timon of Athens says about our current credit culture and how its cynical tone reflects the troubled state of early 17th-century England.     For more, visit
07/12/1822m 31s

Behind the Scenes of Timon of Athens

In this penultimate episode of the series, Ben Lawrence goes behind the scenes of the RSC's new production of Shakespeare's biting satire and talks to its star, Kathryn Hunter. For more, visit
06/12/1826m 50s

Troilus and Cressida - Fear and Loathing in Ancient Troy

Troilus and Cressida is a problem play in more ways than one. Its tone veers wildly between comedy and tragedy and there are no easy resolutions. But it is also a dazzling work with Shakespeare being more truthful and cynical about the human condition than at any other stage in his career. In this episode, Ben Lawrence returns to the play. He is in conversation with Gregory Doran, artistic director of the RSC, who also directs the new production at Stratford upon Avon (which runs from October 12 to November 17), and with the academic and writer James Shapiro whose long list of acclaimed works includes William Shakespeare: 1606, and the Year of Lear.
11/10/1826m 53s

Behind the scenes of Troilus and Cressida

The Telegraph's Ben Lawrence goes behind the scenes of the RSC's new production of Troilus and Cressida. This is one of Shakespeare's most complex and fascinating plays, a version of events leading up to the death of Hector in the Trojan War, and raising issues about self-image and self-worth, the disappointment of love and the frailty of human nature. This new production, with music by acclaimed percussionist Evelyn Glennie, has a 50/50 gender split. Ben talks to Gregory Doran, Artistic Director of the RSC, and to the two actors playing its title characters, Gavin Fowler and Amber James.
08/10/1824m 5s

The Merry Wives of Windsor - is Shakespeare funny? | Much Ado About Shakespeare episode 10

Ben Lawrence talks to director Fiona Laird and Professor Helen Barr of Oxford University about the problems of producing Shakespearean comedy for a 21st-century audience.
15/08/1824m 48s

Behind the scenes of The Merry Wives of Windsor | Much Ado About Shakespeare episode 9

In this episode, Ben Lawrence heads to Stratford-upon-Avon to catch up with director Fiona Laird and actresses Rebecca Lacey and Beth Cordingly for a radical new production, inspired by The Only Way Is Essex, of Shakespeare's knockabout farce.
13/08/1826m 37s

Does Shakespeare silence women?

In this edition, Claire Allfree questions the role of women in Shakespeare and whether he gives them a voice.  Does descending into madness make victims of Ophelia and Lady Macbeth? Why do Queen Anne and Princess Katherine go silent as soon as they are married? And what on earth should 21st-century audiences make of Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew? Joining Claire in the discussion are acclaimed actors Sylvestra le Touzel and Debbie Korley, and director Nancy Meckler.
23/07/1832m 25s

Baz Luhrmann takes on Romeo and Juliet

Ben Lawrence talks to Telegraph film critic Tim Robey about Baz Luhrmann's 1996 film version of Romeo and Juliet - one of the greatest big-screen adaptations of Shakespeare. Discover more at and Music fully licensed at
04/05/1816m 30s

Romeo and Juliet Round Table Discussion

Ben Lawrence chairs a debate about the nature of violence in Romeo and Juliet. Discover more at and Music fully licensed at
02/05/1823m 24s

Behind the scenes of Romeo and Juliet

The Telegraph's Ben Lawrence goes behind the scenes of the RSC's new production which urgently brings to life the violence of the story. Discover more at and Music fully licensed at
30/04/1819m 17s

Live: what Shakespeare can teach us about society today

What can Shakespeare teach us about the politics and culture of today?  Find out in this discussion, recorded live at The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, with Gregory Doran, artistic director of the RSC, novelist Tracy Chevalier and director Iqbal Khan.  Discover more at and  Music fully licensed at
23/04/1852m 40s

Live teaser: Shakespeare 21st century playwright

Keep an eye out for this exciting new episode of Much Ado About Shakespeare, live from The Other Place in Stratford-upon-Avon. Join Ben Lawrence in a discussion about why Shakespeare is still relevant to the here and now. Discover more at and Music fully licensed at
20/04/181m 41s

Trailer - Much Ado About Podcasts

The Telegraph has teamed up with the Royal Shakespeare Company to bring you an exciting new podcast series, Much Ado About Shakespeare. We’ll be exploring our undying fascination with the world’s greatest playwright, giving you a peek behind the curtain on forthcoming RSC productions and hosting discussions about topics that are as relevant now as they were in Shakespeare’s day. To discover more, head to and search 'Shakespeare'; And, Music fully licensed at
04/04/181m 7s

Terry Deary on the curse of The Scottish Play

The Scottish play? Macbee? Mackers? Why has Macbeth aroused such superstition through history. Horrible Histories creator Terry Deary reflects on the Curse of the Scottish play.   Discover more at and   Music licensed at
09/03/1824m 10s

Unsex Me Here: The Women of Macbeth

Is Lady Macbeth the greatest female character that Shakespeare ever created? How do you represent the witches? Why do we see Lady Macduff only briefly? Director Polly Findlay and Oxford academic Emma Smith join Ben Lawrence to discuss the witches in Macbeth. Discover more at and Music licensed at
07/03/1816m 46s

Macbeth: Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack

The Telegraph's Ben Lawrence goes behind the scenes of the brand new Royal Shakespeare Company production of Macbeth and talks to actors Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack, and director Polly Findlay. Discover more at and Music licensed at
05/03/1822m 28s
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