Friday, February 8 at 9:00 and 10:00 p.m.
In the first hour, David Tennant, an acclaimed Hamlet in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s recent hit production (and another recent "Great Performances" production), meets with fellow Hamlets, including superstar Jude Law, comparing notes on the titanic challenge of playing the most iconic of all roles.
He also tries, alongside Simon Russell Beale and Ben Whishaw, to master the meaning of the play and the reason why it is considered the greatest of Shakespeare’s works.
In hour two,
Trevor Nunn, the legendary director who has directed 30 of Shakespeare’s 37 plays and is determined to complete them all before he retires, takes viewers through the magical and mysterious world created in Shakespeare’s last complete play.
He considers The Tempest Shakespeare’s farewell from the stage and relates the play to the playwright’s family life. Among the enthusiastic students of the play who contribute ideas about the role of Prospero is the Archbishop of Canterbury, along with Helen Mirren and director Julie Taymor, who collaborated on the most recent film adaptation — with Mirren playing a female Prospera.
Pictured: David Tennant and Jude Law.
At right: A rehearsal for "The Tempest" at the Globe Theatre.