Media release: Friday April 1, 2016


Foxtel Arts, Foxtel’s High Definition dedicated arts channel commemorates the prolific playwright William Shakespeare throughout the month of April dedicating its programming to the extraordinary world and works of The Bard and their still vivid impact today, 400 years after his death.

Foxtel Arts continues to bring extraordinary experiences in Australian arts and the world’s finest performing artists from the greatest opera houses, concert halls and festival stages and, this month, the channel celebrates the legacy of Shakespeare with 16 live recorded performances of Shakespeare’s best works from the iconic Globe Theatre, London airing Sunday to Wednesday evenings at 8.30pm throughout April.

Foxtel Arts’ presenter Leo Schofield hosts all 16 Shakespeare Globe Theatre performances from this Sunday April 3 featuring a raft of Royal Shakespeare Company alumni and showcasing the best of Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies and historical plays including
Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Love Labour’s Lost, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello and Twelfth Night featuring an all-male cast including Stephen Fry as Malvolio, Sunday April 10 at 8.30pm.

Shakespeare Uncovered, an extraordinary six-part documentary series combines new analysis of some of Shakespeare’s most famous works with the personal passion of the actors who have starred in them. Interviews with directors, actors and scholars are combined with clips from some of the most celebrated productions to offer a captivating insight for both those new to Shakespeare and those familiar with his plays. The series also features clips from some of the most celebrated productions and excerpts from the plays especially rehearsed and performed at Shakespeare’s Globe.

By combining fascinating personal insights with detailed analysis these films investigate and reveal the extraordinary world and works of Shakespeare, how they have survived over the 400 years and their impact today in a fresh and exciting way.

Shakespeare in Love actor Joseph Fiennes investigates how Romeo and Juliet came to be Shakespeare’s most famous play. He meets writer and critic Bonnie Greer to discuss the play’s remarkable heroine and talks to theatre director Dominic Dromgoole about the play’s enduring appeal. Shakespeare Uncovered- Romeo and Juliet, Sunday April 3 at 7.30pm.

Homeland star David Harewood, the first black actor to play the lead role at the National theatre in London, explores the complexities and contradictions of Othello which is arguably the tightest piece of thriller writing in Shakespeare’s body of work. Shakespeare Uncovered – Othello, Monday April 4 at 7.30pm.

Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall who has played Cleopatra on two occasions explores the truths and myths behind the real Cleopatra and how Shakespeare helped to define the Hollywood version of her that we know today. Shakespeare Uncovered – Antony and Cleopatra, Tuesday April 12 at 7.20pm.

Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville who began his career as an understudy for Ralph Fiennes in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, the most magical of Shakespeare’s comedies, reflects on the play’s enduring appeal with Fiennes, David Walliams and Sheridan Smith.
Shakespeare Uncovered – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sunday April 17 at 7.30pm.

Morgan Freeman investigates the role of Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, a part he played 1990, and explores the origin and the legacy, of Shakespeare’s most notorious comedy. Shakespeare Uncovered – The Taming of the Shrew, Monday April 18 at 7.30pm.

Veteran actor Christopher Plummer who first played the title role in 2002 under the direction of Jonathan Miller, delves into one of the greatest tragedies King Lear. Exploring the power and ethics of authority, King Lear is considered to be one of the most penetrating plays of the human psyche ever written. Shakespeare Uncovered – King Lear, Tuesday April 26 at 7.20pm.

A 400 year legacy in a month long celebration. Shakespeare 400 only on Foxtel Arts.

Foxtel Arts – throughout the week you will find your story, find your vision, find your beat, and find your self on Foxtel Arts, Channel 133.