Green Bay's Shakespeare Series begins on BBC FOUR at 9PM on April 23rd

18th April 2012

In this new critical three-part essay for BBC Four, The King and The Playwright: A Jacobean History sees world-renowned American scholar, Professor James Shapiro re-examine the work of the world’s greatest playwright during the troubled first decade of the reign of King James. This is not the familiar Shakespeare of the time of Elizabeth, but the dark, complex Jacobean Shakespeare, at the height of his powers in truly turbulent times.

In this first episode, James Shapiro tells the intriguing story of popular uncertainty about this elusive and intellectual new king and a great writer’s first efforts to get to grips with massive change. Featured plays include Measure for Measure, Timon of Athens and Shakespeare’s first Jacobean masterpiece, King Lear.

Puritans, plague, an extravagant gift to a Spanish diplomatic delegation and the production of a new British coin called the ‘Unite’, all figure in Shapiro’s rich and fascinating history of a troubled time.

The King and the Playwright: A Jacobean History is part of the ambitious BBC Shakespeare Season.

 Series Producer and Director: Steven Clarke

Executive Producer: Phil George

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