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BBC season to celebrate Shakespeare's life and work

22nd September 2010

The life and work of William Shakespeare will be celebrated by the BBC in 2012 after the corporation announced a season dedicated to the Bard.

As well as five brand new interpretations of Shakespeare's most acclaimed plays, documentaries about his life will also be broadcast.

BBC spokeswoman Jana Bennett said she hopes the Shakespeare season will be 'culturally important and rewarding' in the same year that London will stage the Olympic Games.

Emma Swain, head of knowledge commissioning at the corporation, said the World Shakespeare Festival will take place as part of the Cultural Olympiad, with the as-yet unnamed adaptations representing the BBC's contribution.

'In a season of films, both drama and factual, we will explore the politics of Shakespeare, the context in which he was writing and the pure pleasure to be had from really understanding his characters and his use of language,' she explained.

The move follows the success of the recent BBC Two adaptation of Hamlet, in which David Tennant reprised the role which brought great acclaim on stage.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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