Shakespeare’s Restless World
Using objects from the Elizabethan period, the director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, uncovers the preoccupations and lifestyles of Shakespeare's audiences from the era in this revealing and unique 20-part radio series.
From the eyeball of a Catholic priest circa 1606 through to theatre-goer cutlery from the era, MacGregor masterfully reveals how Elizabethan society operated and thought by examining the objects owned and used by Shakespeare-loving audiences at the time. Through such items, he touches on the era's many preoccupations from exploration and violence through to entertainment and the plague...
An engrossing and original look at a unique period of history, Shakespeare’s Restless World does away with dusty tomes and dry academia, replacing it with insightful, passionate and expert insights on the world within which Shakespeare's plays were set.
Did You Know?
• The music featured in the series was recorded by Fretwork, a consort of viols described by the London Evening Standard as the finest on the planet. The group carefully selected pieces in their repertory to match the themes reflected in the series. For the Rapier & Dagger programme that focuses on Romeo & Juliet, they used a Anthony Holborne piece called The Honeysuckle or Heartsease that is actually referenced in the play itself.
• The show features some surprising items including Sir Francis Drake's circumnavigation medal that reveals a country fired up by stories of exploration and adventure, a magical Aztec mirror owned by the occult practitioner Dr John Dee that brings into focus Elizabethan Britain's interest in the paranormal, and plague proclamations that would see Shakespeare's company heading out on to the road to avoid the deadly disease that was sweeping through London.
What's In The Box?
• Four CDs with a running time of approximately four hours and 30 minutes.
What The Critics Say
“Superb... MacGregor has a rare gift for making the unfamiliar graspable”
“The programmes are great, decorated with small, glistening pieces of information, like a crown studded with gems”
Neil MacGregor, the Director of the British Museum, looks at the world through the eyes of Shakespeare's audience
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