Much Ado About Comedy

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20160420

20160420

Little Britain's Matt Lucas explores Shakespeare's comedies and asks if they have an influence on current humour. Today we interpret comedy from quite a different perspective than 400 years ago. Comedy then meant one with a happy ending.

Now we can use Shakespeare's comedies to greater comic effect, depending on the director & actors involved and how they can convey his words for today's audiences. Director, Michael Grandage explains how he translates the text from as fresh a perspective as possible.

Shakespeare's plays are seen as timeless because they deal with human issues still familiar today. His comedy themes provoke comic reactions - from romance, the words & their rhythms, to confusion & chaos through mistaken identity and cross-dressing. We'll hear examples from his best known comedies.

What did Shakespeare's 'Fools' represent then and were they the stand-ups of the day? The 'Fool' was sometimes used to expose the vain, mock the pompous and deliver a few home truths. But he wasn't necessarily there for comic effect.

We hear from actress Fiona Shaw, and writer/performer Adam Long (Reduced Shakespeare Company) who believe that humour stems from the tragedy more directly than the comedies. With contributions from Catherine Tate, John Sessions and Simon Russell-Beale.

As The Reversed Shakespeare Company is launched, artistic director, Lindsay Dukes, shares her future plans of gender swapping all Shakespeare's characters to offer an unexpected experience for a younger generation. We hear about Ben Elton's new sitcom about William Shakespeare's life - 'Upstart Crow' which features actress, Helen Monks.

Much Ado About Comedy looks at the use of comedy in Shakespeare, and how radical it may become in the future. Or not?

20160420

Little Britain's Matt Lucas explores Shakespeare's comedies and asks if they have an influence on current humour. Today we interpret comedy from quite a different perspective than 400 years ago. Comedy then meant one with a happy ending.

Now we can use Shakespeare's comedies to greater comic effect, depending on the director and actors involved and how they can convey his words for today's audiences. Director, Michael Grandage explains how he translates the text from as fresh a perspective as possible.

Shakespeare's plays are seen as timeless because they deal with human issues still familiar today. His comedy themes provoke comic reactions - from romance, the words and their rhythms, to confusion and chaos through mistaken identity and cross-dressing. We'll hear examples from his best known comedies.

What did Shakespeare's 'Fools' represent then and were they the stand-ups of the day? The 'Fool' was sometimes used to expose the vain, mock the pompous and deliver a few home truths. But he wasn't necessarily there for comic effect.

We hear from actress Fiona Shaw, and writer/performer Adam Long (Reduced Shakespeare Company) who believe that humour stems from the tragedy more directly than the comedies. With contributions from Catherine Tate, John Sessions and Simon Russell-Beale.

As The Reversed Shakespeare Company is launched, artistic director, Lindsay Dukes, shares her future plans of gender swapping all Shakespeare's characters to offer an unexpected experience for a younger generation. We hear about Ben Elton's new sitcom about William Shakespeare's life - 'Upstart Crow' which features actress, Helen Monks.

Much Ado About Comedy looks at the use of comedy in Shakespeare, and how radical it may become in the future. Or not?