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Sam Mendes to helm BBC Shakespeare productions

1st October 2010

Sam Mendes is to produce new versions of well-known Shakespearian works, the BBC has announced.

Mendes, who received the Best Director Oscar for American Beauty in 2000, has been named as the executive producer of Henry IV parts I and II, Henry V and Richard II, all of which will be shown on BBC Two.

The programmes will form part of the broadcaster's special season dedicated to the Bard.

'One of my earliest introductions to Shakespeare was watching the plays on TV, and it's terrific to have the opportunity to bring them to a new, wider audience,' Mendes said.

Announcing the season, which will also feature documentaries about Shakespeare's life, the BBC's Jana Bennett said last month that the corporation's ambition was to make 'thought-provoking, stimulating and rewarding' programmes for a broad audience.

Oscar-winning director Jane Campion will also create a new drama series for BBC Two called Top of the Lake, the corporation said.
 

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