Shakespeare Retold

Friday, May 24, 2013



I recently discovered a 2005 BBC show called Shakespeare Retold. Has anyone else seen this? It’s so much fun! There are four episodes, A Midsummer Night’s DreamMuch Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, and The Taming of the Shrew

Each one is an hour and a half modern re-telling of one of Shakespeare’s plays. They all have a unique twist, for example Macbeth is set in the kitchen of a fancy restaurant where everyone wants to be the head chef instead of the king.

The casts of each episode are incredible! James McAvoy, Imelda Staunton, Damian Lewis, Billie Piper, Richard Armitage, Rufus Sewell, it’s a who’s who of British actors.



The thing I love about them is that it’s one more example of how Shakespeare’s plays are still incredibly relevant. His themes of jealousy, ambition, love, etc. never become dated and can be reworked in any time period. Just as other modern versions like 10 Things I Hate About You, The Lion King and West Side Story have shown, the stories work today just as they did then.

I watched them through Netflix, I’m not sure where else they are available, but check them out if you get the chance.

**p.s. I can’t wait to see Joss Whedon’s version of Much Ado About Nothing!

12 comments:

Clair~ said...

Oh yes, I really enjoyed The Taming of the Shrew and Much Ado About Nothing. Excellent acting and very unique takes on Shakespeare...

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Clair - They were so fun!

nomadreader said...

These sound fabulous!

Anne said...

I have not seen these, they look great! I am hoping I can find them on Netflix so I can watch them this weekend.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I've seen all of these but Macbeth. While I wish there were versions with Shakespeare's original dialogue, I really them just the same. =)

Laura said...

James McAvoy and Damien Lewis?! *dies*

bkclubcare said...

How how very fun!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

They are so fun!

Jeanne said...

This is almost enough to make me sign up for Netflix again, even though it was one of the expenses we cut when Eleanor went off to college. Ironically, it is the luxury she wishes we had now.
And yes, excited about Whedon's Much Ado!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jeanne - Funny, we are thinking about stopping out Netflix and that's why I bumped these to the top of the list!

Rachel Bradford said...

That looks really interesting. I just added it to my Netflix queue. Thanks for bringing it up! :)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Rachel Bradford - Hope you like it!