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 Dream, Much 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!