Airing as part of PBS’ Black History Month lineup is “Shakespeare Uncovered” – a series that takes audiences behind every Shakespeare play. In each episode, a major Shakespearean actor or director explores and reveals the extraordinary world and works of William Shakespeare, and the still-potent impact they have today. The presenters have spent their lives with Shakespeare’s work and relate, not only to the stories of the plays themselves, but also how they came to be written, how they have been performed, and how they have survived over 400 years.
This month, in separate episodes, Morgan Freeman sets out to understand how and why “The Taming of the Shrew” was written (it airs on February 6 at 9pm); and in an episode airing on the same day, but an hour later, at 10pm, David Harewood, the first black actor to play Othello on stage at the National Theatre in London, unravels the complex issues of prejudice and jealousy that are threaded throughout that play. He also returns to the National to meet fellow black British actor, Adrian Lester, the most recent actor to take on the role at the theatre.
I’ll be watching both episodes – each, a full hour long – this Friday evening!
In the meantime, watch previews of both below: