OU on Sky Arts: My Shakespeare

The series that highlights the stories that make the man from Stratford-upon-Avon the greatest writer who ever lived.

  • Updated Tuesday 8th July 2014
  • Posted under TV
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The title card from the My Shakespeare series on Sky Arts Copyrighted image Copyright: Sky

About the series

My Shakespeare is a series of documentary films, presented by some of the world’s greatest actors, which tell, in a vivid and entertaining way, the stories of – and the stories behind – some of Shakespeare’s greatest plays.

In this series the presenters will interview actors, historians and directors as well as uncovering the extraordinarily rich video and film archives of 20th and 21st Century productions. They will each pursue their own particular interests while making sure that we, the audience, get to know the stories of these wonderful plays.

These films reveal where Shakespeare got his stories from (very few are truly original) and what he did with them once he got hold of them. The series will range over the whole of his career, from what was one of the very first plays he ever wrote, to one of the last. We watch as his talent reveals itself to his own astonished audience as well as discover how it developed and what it is that makes these plays, now 400 years old, universally acknowledged as the greatest masterpieces of World Theatre.

Take a look at our Arts and Humanities prospectus

Shakespeare has been challenging his audiences to “think” ever since he started. This series will examine how he teases our preconceptions and prejudices about the equality of the sexes in the first ever "screwball" comedy; how he took a tale about the danger of teenage disobedience and transformed its adolescent kids into the greatest romantic hero and heroine ever created; we shall show how Shakespeare has predicted the nightmares of later centuries in a lethal story of racism, love and psychopathy; we will reveal the truly original story of a magical forest and a transgressive love that mixes sex and the supernatural; we will revisit our preconceptions about Ancient History in a story of middle-aged passion and the collapse of Empire; and finally we will be devastated by a cynical and yet moving tragedy of an old man’s love and death in a godless universe.

Find out when the programmes are next on Sky Arts by checking out their broadcast listings.