British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Living Shakespeare

Synopsis
Living Shakespeare is a collection of filmed essays commissioned by the British Council as part of the Shakespeare Lives project which celebrates Shakespeare’s influence on culture, language, education and society. South African actor John Kani recounts his experiences playing Othello in 1987, at the height of apartheid. He takes stock on how far the country has come and contemplates the continued relevance of the play in its still divided society. Chinese author Hong Ying looks at Shakespeare’s sonnets as they relate to sexuality and love in China. Banned during the Cultural Revolution, Shakespeare later became a cultural touchstone for Hong Ying and other artists in the 1980s. The sonnets are taking on a new resonance among the gay community of China today. Bollywood actor Kalki Koechlin explores the character of Ophelia and relates her situation to the complex and often confusing role of women in Indian society. Scottish musician Dame Evelyn Glennie talks about her unique way of hearing and interpreting The Tempest. Profoundly deaf, she hears the sounds in the words of the characters, perceiving them with her whole body to explore the "sound colours" in the text
Choreographer Alissar Caracalla tells the story of her company’s famous "Oriental Night" - a production based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, devised and performed in the Chouf Mountain during the closing months of the Lebanese Civil War.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Film; Video
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Transmission details
5 Sep 2016 (Channel: BBC World Service)
Duration
3 mins. each programme

Credits

Producer
Jonathan Wells
Contributor
Alissar Caracalla; Evelyn Glennie; Hong Ying; John Kani; Kalki Koechlin

Additional Details

Production type
Documentary/Educational/News
Plays
Midsummer Night’s Dream, A; Othello; Tempest, The
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
apartheid; China; dance; deaf persons; hearing-impaired persons; homosexuality; India; Lebanon; Shakespeare, William (1564-1616); sonnets; South Africa; Multiculturalism

Notes

Notes
Website accessed 12/2016. The films are made in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi and English - and are translated for use across BBC World Service’s multiple language outputs.
General
BBC World Service produced the series as part of the project marking 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, in partnership with the British Council and The Open University,
History
BBC World News television broadcast one episode a week from September 5th , at 05.55, 10.55, 12.55, 15.50 and 18.55 GMT. The broadcasts were also transmitted on BBC News 24 on 28/12/2016 at 09:30.

Online Availability

Online URL
http://www.shakespearelives.org/explore/literature/living-shakespeare

Production Company

Name

BBC World Service

Sponsor

Name

British Council

Archive

Name

Learning on Screen Off-Air Recording Back-up Service

Email
services@bufvc.ac.uk
Web
http://bufvc.ac.uk/tvandradio/offair External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7393 1514
Fax
020 7393 1555
Address
For Learning on Screen Members only
77 Wells Street
London
W1T 3QJ

Record Stats

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