15 episodes

Your one-stop shop for all things Shakespeare. Catch A-List casts in brand new audio versions of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, plus documentaries from the brightest minds on the bard’s life and work.

The Shakespeare Sessions BBC Radio 3

    • Fiction
    • 4.8 • 76 Ratings

Your one-stop shop for all things Shakespeare. Catch A-List casts in brand new audio versions of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, plus documentaries from the brightest minds on the bard’s life and work.

    Who is Falstaff?

    Who is Falstaff?

    Toby Jones on playing the boisterous and fun-loving knight Falstaff. Toby Jones stars as Falstaff in our full-length version of Henry IV Part 1, which you can find in your podcast feed.

    • 2 min
    Full Length Play: Henry IV Part 1

    Full Length Play: Henry IV Part 1

    Rebellion is brewing in Britain.
    King Henry must reunite his country but how when even his own family is divided?
    As Henry's rule is threatened his son Hal appears unconcerned, wasting his time in the company of the comically corrupt Falstaff and common thieves, apparently more interested in play than the politics of state. Yet what kind of leadership is needed to unite the country might well be found in the taverns of Eastcheap as within the Palace of Westminster.
    King Henry ..... Iain Glen
    Falstaff ..... Toby Jones
    Hal ..... Luke Thompson
    Hotspur ..... Tom Glynn-Carney
    Worcester .....Mark Bonnar
    Lady Percy .....Natalie Simpson
    Glendower ..... Steffan Rhodri
    Lady Mortimer ..... Bettrys Jones
    Westmoreland ..... Roger Ringrose
    Northumberland/Douglas ..... John Dougall
    Bardolph/ Sir Walter Blunt ..... John Lightbody
    Peto/Sherriff/Vernon ..... Sargon Yelda
    John/Mortimer ..... Chris Lew Kum Hoi
    Poins/Messenger ..... Hasan Dixon
    Mistress Quickly ..... Elizabeth Counsell
    Written by William Shakespeare
    Music composed by John Nicholls.
    Adapted and directed by Sally Avens.

    • 1 hr 57 min
    Full Length Play: Othello

    Full Length Play: Othello

    Khalid Abdalla, Matthew Needham and Cassie Layton star in Shakespeare's tragedy. This version is staged in an imagined near future, in which a power-hungry Turkish president attempts an attack on Cyprus. The western forces rush to Cyprus' defence, under the command of the fearless General Othello. But can an Arab-born, Christian convert ever be truly accepted by the people he serves?
    Adapted and directed for radio by Emma Harding
    You can listen to Dr Islam Issa giving us a quick rundown of events in the 1600s that influenced the character of Othello, in your podcast feed.
    And don't forget to check out Looking for the Moor, also in your podcast feed, which sees Hugh Quarshie explore Othello and ask if the play is racist.
    Othello.....Khalid Abdalla
    Iago.....Matthew Needham
    Desdemona.....Cassie Layton
    Cassio.....Max Bennett
    Brabantio.....Neil McCaul
    Roderigo.....Clive Hayward
    Duke of Venice.....Jessica Turner
    Montano.....Peter Polycarpou
    Emilia.....Bettrys Jones
    Lodovico.....Ian Conningham
    Bianca.....Heather Craney
    All other parts played by Sargon Yelda and Hasan Dixon

    • 2 hr 1 min
    Othello: What it means to be a Moor

    Othello: What it means to be a Moor

    Dr Islam Issa, Senior Lecturer at Birmingham City University, gives us a rundown of events in the 1600s that influenced the character of Othello.
    You can listen to our full-length version of Othello, set in an imagined near future, in your podcast feed.

    • 4 min
    Coriolanus: A tragic hero

    Coriolanus: A tragic hero

    A whistle-stop tour through Ancient Rome with writer and broadcaster Natalie Haynes.

    • 4 min
    Exit Burbage

    Exit Burbage

    Imagine where we'd be without Shakespeare's plays. It's difficult to contemplate now. But it was thanks to another man that many of them were brought to life.
    Today, Richard Burbage is a not a household name. But he should be. He's the man for whom many of the great Shakespearean roles were created. One of the founding members of the Lord Chamberlain's Men, playing at the newly built Globe in 1599, he's one of the foundations upon which British theatre was built. Andrew Dickson talks to leading actors, rummages among the archives and dissects some of the greatest parts in acting to discover Burbage's crucial role - and realises that without Richard Burbage, there could be no Shakespeare.
    Producer: Penny Murphy

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
76 Ratings

76 Ratings

classical_antiquity ,

Where’s King Lear?

There was a marvelous performance of King Lear in this series with Ian MacDiarmid! Where’d it go? Marvelous performance! Please bring it back!

RWseaturtle ,

This Shakespeare Sessions

Superb BBC series! I hope there will be more!

wolf lover female ,

Helpful but..

Is vary helpful when I’m doing stuff so I can but it in and do the thing I need to get done.
I do wish they would do it more like a book instead of having the sounds of a play…I can get confusing at times but it’s still vary good.
And they need to do more, they don’t have king Henry the 5th or the other part of king Henry the 4th (part 2).

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