Morgan Freeman, Kim Cattrall, Joseph Fiennes, David Harewood, Christopher Plummer & Hugh Bonneville Discover My Shakespeare on Sky Arts


Wednesday 20 August, 2014

Morgan Freeman, Kim Cattrall, Joseph Fiennes, Hugh Bonneville, David Harewood, and Christopher Plummer will explore their passion for the world's greatest dramatist and his works in My Shakespeare, a spectacular new series created in partnership with The Open University starting Monday 22nd September 9pm on Sky Arts 1 HD.

In each episode, one star will explore an iconic work by William Shakespeare, revealing their personal connection to the work and how it has shaped them professionally. They embark on a journey to find out how their chosen play was written, as well as meeting actors, historians, and directors to understand how the plays have been performed and developed over time. They aim to find out where Shakespeare got his stories from and what makes these plays, now over 400 years old, universally acknowledged as great masterpieces of theatre.

Morgan Freeman on The Taming Of The Shrew - Monday 22nd September 9pm In 1990, Morgan Freeman famously starred in a Wild West version of The Taming of The Shew for Shakespeare in the Park in New York. One of the bard's very first works, Freeman sets out to understand how and why the play was written. Interviews include Tracey Ullman and Sinead Cusack.

Kim Cattrall on Antony & Cleopatra - Monday 29th September 9pm Kim Cattrall meets Janet Suzman who is renowned for her performance of Cleopatra with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Together, they begin to uncover the truth behind Shakespeare's “middle-aged” love story. Cattrall also travels to Rome and examines possible inspirations for the play. Contributors include Harriet Walter and Vanessa Redgrave.

Joseph Fiennes on Romeo & Juliet – Monday 6th October 9pm The star of Shakespeare in Love examines Royal Ballet productions, musicals such as West Side Story, and Baz Luhrmann's extraordinary cinematic re-imagination of Romeo & Juliet to understand why the love story remains the most adapted and performed of all of Shakespeare's works. Features interviews with Orlando Bloom and Stephen Sondheim.

Hugh Bonneville on A Midsummer Night's Dream – Monday 13th October 9pm Hugh Bonneville started his career as an understudy for Ralph Fiennes in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Open Air Theatre in London's Regent's Park. He revisits the theatre where his love for Shakespeare blossomed and catches up with Ralph to talk about why the play has enduring appeal. Interviews include David Walliams and Sheridan Smith.

David Harewood on Othello – Monday 20th October 9pm In 1997, David Harewood was the first ever black actor to play Othello on stage at the National Theatre in London. In this episode, he unravels the complex issues of prejudice and jealousy which are threaded throughout the play, as well as returning to the National to meet the most recent actor to take on the role at the theatre, Adrian Lester.

Christopher Plummer on King Lear – Monday 27thth October 9pm Actor Christopher Plummer originally played the role of King Lear under the direction of Sir Jonathan Miller, who has directed the play six times. Plummer explores how the work might have been staged during Shakespeare's time and acclaimed actors Sir Ian McKellen and Simon Russell Beale give their insight into playing the part of the troubled King.

Phil Edgar-Jones, Sky Arts Director: “It's easy to see why the acclaimed stars in this series have such a passion for William Shakespeare. It's such an honour to be able to bring his work to life on Sky Arts especially for our customers, who, like audiences in theatres around the world, crave insight into the plays created by a total genius.”

My Shakespeare was produced by Blakeway's Productions and co-produced by Thirteen Productions LLC in partnership with The Open University for Sky. The series was commissioned by Chris Wilson, commissioning editor, Sky. The executive producer for Blakeway's Productions is Fiona Stourton and the series producer is Richard Denton. The series marks a further development for Sky Arts which champions innovative art series, and which underlines Sky's promise to deliver high-quality, exclusive content to customers.

Ends

NOTES TO EDITORS

Sky is the UK and Ireland's leading home entertainment and communications company. Around 40% of all homes have a direct relationship with Sky through its range of TV, broadband and home telephony services.

Sky is the UK's biggest investor in television content, investing more than £2.5 billion a year in channels such as Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Living, Sky Arts, Sky Sports, Sky Movies and Sky News. Around two-thirds of Sky's content spend is invested in the UK and Sky is the fastest-growing source of investment in original British programmes. More than 30 million people watch Sky content each week.

Alongside its commitment to offering customers a greater choice of high-quality content, Sky is a leading innovator. Customers enjoy total control and flexibility over their favourite TV through Sky+, watch TV on the move through Sky Go, and enjoy the best quality TV experience at home through High Definition and 3D.

Sky distributes its content broadly over several platforms, including satellite, cable, IPTV, mobile and WiFi. NOW TV, Sky's second consumer brand, builds on the company's leadership in internet TV. Sky is also the UK's fastest-growing home communications company and favourite 'triple-play' provider of TV, broadband and home phone.

Sky believes in making a wider contribution to the communities in which it operates by taking positive action on the environment, supporting grassroots sports and increasing access to, and participation in, the arts. Sky employs 24,000 people, has annual revenues of £7.2 billion and is estimated to support a £5.9 billion contribution to UK GDP. Sky is listed on the London Stock Exchange (BSY).

Press Contact:

Dominic Collett - Sky Arts Publicist, Sky Press Office
T: 0207 032 4892
E: dominic.collett@bskyb.com

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Pressat Wire, on Wednesday 20 August, 2014. For more information visit http://www.pressat.co.uk/


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