In Love With Shakespeare : the finest thespian talents unite for a celebration of Shakespeare on Sky Arts
Premiering Saturday 28 May at 6.30pm on Sky Arts 1 HD A cast of some of the country’s finest actors has assembled for a celebration of Shakespeare’s greatest speeches.
22 April 2011
Simon Callow, Stephen Campbell-Moore, Anthony Head, Robert Lindsay, Richard Madden, Jonathan Pryce, John Simm, Catherine Tate, Samuel West, Janie Dee and Colin Hurley, who appear in Shakespeare’s Globe’s 2011 season, will recite a selection of some of the best of the Bard’s monologues in a series of Shakespeare shorts.
The pieces were chosen by each actor as their particular favourite and have been filmed to celebrate the work of organisations and charities including Shakespeare Country, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Shakespeare’s Globe.
A 30 minute film, which will broadcast all the speeches, will premiere on Saturday 28 May. The individual monologues will then be broadcast throughout May and June on both Sky Arts 1 and 2.
Simon Callow will recite one of Shakespeare’s best-known battle speeches, ‘Once more unto the breach, dear friends,’ from Henry V. Catherine Tate’s chosen passage is Hermione’s speech ‘Sir, spare your threats,’ from The Winter’s Tale, the climax of the play in Act III, where she defends her honour against her jealous husband Leontes.
Jonathan Pryce will enact perhaps one of the most famous speeches of them all, Hamlet’s celebrated ‘To be or not to be’ while Samuel West will perform the most famous speech of Richard II: ‘No matter where; of comfort no man speak,’ the speech which marks Richard out as one of Shakespeare’s most poetic characters.
Stephen Campbell-Moore’s choice is one of the most highly quoted of all the speeches, Mark Anthony’s funeral oration from Julius Caesar, “Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears.” John Simm’s chosen passage is from Hamlet, Act II, scene 2: ‘Oh what a rogue and peasant slave am I,’ the speech in which the conflicted Hamlet berates himself for being a coward in failing to avenge his father’s death. Robert Lindsay will perform Edmund’s ‘Why “bastard”?’ speech from King Lear. Richard Madden’s chosen passage is the declaration of war from the famous tennis ball scene in Henry V. Actors Janie Dee and Colin Hurley are both currently appearing in the Globe’s production of All’s Well that End’s Well, and will perform extracts from the play: the Countess of Rousillon’s sensual soliloquy, and the comic duologue in Act 2, Scene 2, with Dee as the Countess and Hurley as her clown servant Levache. Anthony Head will tackle Cardinal Wolsey’s monologue from Henry VIII, Act 3 Scene 2: 'So farewell to the little good you bear me.' His daughter Emilie Head, best known as Carli from the hit series The Inbetweeners, will perform a favourite monologue as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet.
“I couldn’t imagine a better cast to come together in celebration of the very best of the Bard,” comments James Hunt, Channel Director of Sky Arts. “We’re delighted that this remarkable selection of our finest thespians were so keen to take part and reveal their favourite pieces for the channel. The performances are a remarkable and fitting celebration of some of the greatest speeches ever written.”
In Love with Shakespeare is a B Good Picture Company Production and is directed by Joe Stephenson.
***Interviews and images are available with the cast, please contact Katherine Solomon on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7032 0599.
Notes to Editors
About Sky Arts
Sky is the only broadcaster in the UK and Ireland with channels dedicated solely to the arts, with 48 hours of the best arts content from around the world across Sky Arts 1 and Sky Arts 2 daily. Recent highlights include the latest season of the Met Opera, Chekhov Comedy Shorts, a season of brand new plays starring the cream of British comedic talent, Tim Marlow on Sculpture 3D and The South Bank Sky Arts Awards.
Sky Arts also seeks to connect with culture on the ground; creating and collaborating with the best of the arts in the UK and Ireland to bring new experiences to life. Flagship show, The Book Show, now goes to five literary festivals including Hay and Cheltenham, where the experience for visitors to the festival is amplified. As part of our seven year National Tour Sponsorship with English National Ballet, Sky Arts has enabled access to different art forms, with workshops in schools across the country for children to learn ballet. Sky Arts also encourages new formats and methods for accessing opera; beaming the world’s first live opera in 3D to cinemas across the UK and Ireland from ENO.
For more information on Sky Arts, please visit www.sky.com/arts
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is an independent charity founded in Stratford in 1847, and is the guardian of the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites, comprising Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Nash’s House & New Place, Hall’s Croft, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Mary Arden’s Farm.
At the heart of all things ‘Shakespeare’, the Trust is not only at the forefront of academic learning, but also an iconic destination in the UK and the cornerstone of the region’s identity and tourism economy. The five houses offer a multi-layered experience for visitors unlike any other, giving people from all over the world the opportunity to learn about the life of the world’s greatest playwright, discover his work and experience a real sense of the times that influenced him here in Stratford.
Shakespeare’s Globe has become one of the most popular visitor destinations in the UK, at the heart of the regeneration of London’s Bankside. Shakespeare’s Globe is a charity and continues to operate without annual government funding. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole, the theatre season plays in repertory from April to October annually, and has gained an international reputation for performance excellence. Globe Education, directed by Patrick Spottiswoode, is one of the largest arts education departments in the country, and each year, more than 100,000 people of all ages and nationalities participate in its programme of public events, workshops and courses. Shakespeare’s Globe Exhibition and Tour is open all year round and is the world’s only permanent exhibition dedicated to Shakespeare’s theatrical career.