Shakespeare Uncovered

Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 107

Shakespeare Uncovered has provided a crash course in Shakespeare’s best-known plays, presented in hour-long documentary form and guided by film and theater stars like Morgan Freeman, Kim Cattrall, Ethan Hawke, and Helen Hunt. In the third (and likely final) season of Shakespeare Uncovered, which premiered on PBS on October 12, Brian Cox and Romola Garai make timely investigations of Julius Caesar and Measure for Measure, Helen Hunt looks at the rom-com legacy of Much Ado About Nothing, Antony Sher probes Richard III's dangerous charms, and F. Murray Abraham visits Venice to learn more about Merchant.

The people behind the series are TV producers Richard Denton and Nicola Stockley. As the series was gearing up for its third season, the two of them came by the studio to talk about how they create these in-depth episodes and some moments from the series that have really knocked their socks off. Richard and Nicola were interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

Preview season 3 of Shakespeare Uncovered on our Shakespeare & Beyond blog. 

Visit www.pbs.org/shakespeare-uncovered to learn more about the series and watch new episodes.

Listen to the episode on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Soundcloud, and NPR One.

From our Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. Published October 16, 2018. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “Makes The Hour Full Complete,” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. We had technical help from Andrew Feliciano and Paul Luke at VoiceTrax West in Studio City, California and Gareth Wood at The Sound Company in London.

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Transcript

MICHAEL WITMORE: Okay, granted, this won’t apply to most of our listeners, but here’s the scenario: one day, it dawns on you that pretty much everyone around you knows way more about Shakespeare than you do. Hey, just go with me on this, okay? It might happen. Suddenly, it seems important that you catch up quickly by learning as much as you can about Shakespeare’s 17 most popular plays. You don’t have much time! Where do you turn?

From the Folger Shakespeare Library, this is Shakespeare Unlimited. I’m Michael Witmore, the Folger’s director. Believe it or not, there is an answer. It comes in the form of a TV documentary series called, ‘Shakespeare Uncovered,’ which airs in the United States on PBS. For the past three years, the TV production team of Richard Denton and Nicola Stockley have been turning out a crash course in Shakespeare’s best-known plays presented in hour-long documentary form and guided by film and theatre stars like Morgan Freeman, Kim Cattrall, Ethan Hawke and Helen Hunt. Nicola Stockley and Richard Denton came into the studio recently as the series was gearing up to begin its third season. We call this podcast ‘Makes the Hour Full Complete,’ Richard and Nicola were interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

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BARBARA BOGAEV: To help everyone picture what the program’s like, because I’m sure some haven’t seen it yet, how did you describe Shakespeare Uncovered the first time around when you came to networks to pitch the show?

RICHARD DENTON: I think we said it’s the stories of and the stories behind the plays that Shakespeare wrote.

[CLIPS from various episodes of Shakespeare Uncovered: In voice-over, hosts of the series introduce the plays, intercut with audio from films of the plays.]

ANTONY SHER: A dark, devious, dangerous character: Shakespeare's Richard III.

HELEN HUNT: Much Ado is a play about love and marriage.

FRIAR from MUCH ADO: You come hither, my lord, to marry this lady?

HUNT: It may be a comedy, but it comes dangerously close to tragedy.

F. MURRAY ABRAHAM: If you have the chance to take revenge, would you? This is the choice facing one of Shakespeare's most vilified characters: Shylock.

NICOLA STOCKLEY: And the idea would be that you’d have the passion, and the experience of the actor who had played one of the lead parts in the play or who wanted to, contributing what they know and finding out things that they didn’t.

[CLIP from an episode of Shakespeare Uncovered: “Julius Caesar with Brian Cox”]

BRIAN COX: When Shakespeare wrote Julius Caesar for his London audience, he presented them with one of his most extraordinary characters: not Caesar, but Brutus. My relationship with the character goes back a long way, and he still intrigues me.

STOCKLEY: So, what’d you’d have would be them meeting with various people, maybe other actors who played the part, maybe the directors. And, we had the Globe actors, who would act scenes for us, so you’d have that as an element. That would be a core element. And you’d also—a trope that we perpetuated was that the films themselves would be made of the various plays. We would have the actor in the viewing theatre seeing them along with the audience, so that would be a sense of bringing it to life in that way.

DENTON: I think the other element which, was actually Nicki’s invention, was that these films would always follow the story of the play. So basically, you have somebody going on a journey or an adventure, whatever you want to call it, in which you follow the story of the play and en route, you stop and investigate things that suddenly occur to you. Or you discover en route.

BOGAEV: Yes! That is one of the delights of this show, this theme of taking a journey. The sense of action and excitement. You give it a sense of time-travel—and it was interesting, you mention Venice. As I watched F. Murray Abraham walk around a Venetian farmer’s market…

[CLIP from Shakespeare Uncovered: “The Merchant of Venice with F. Murray Abraham”]

F. MURRAY ABRAHAM: In Venice, the Christian Antonio could roam freely, while the reviled Jewish Shylock would have had to live behind walls.

BOGAEV: I found myself as a viewer trying to picture what would it have been like in the 16th century.

[CLIP continues]

           ABRAHAM: It was here that the very first ghetto was created.  

BOGAEV: Well, besides Venice, where does this series take your host and what were you going for having them travel so much to these sites, besides that sense of time-travel?

DENTON: Uh, initially, I want to say that each film has a completely different idea behind it. So, in some films, you don’t really go anywhere very much, but in other films you, you’ll go on a, a long journey to somewhere.

STOCKLEY: So for instance, The Winter’s Tale, we stayed in London, that was with Simon Russell Beale, that made sense. When it came to Julius Caesar, we thought, “Oh what would make that pertinent now?” We thought, “What about Washington?” It’s a Roman play; it had a huge resonance for America when it was setting itself up, wrestled with these questions at the same time as the play was touring to huge audiences in America. Brian Cox lives in America, so that kind of tied up.

DENTON: And the funny thing is that Washington looks like a Roman city.

BOGAEV: You were mentioning, though, that you do follow the plots and you’re very careful to do that, it makes me wonder who your intended audience is? I mean, you’re speaking now, you went to Washington, so are you always thinking of meeting both an English and American audience? Or is your audience, for instance, an English person who’s seen multiple productions of a play like Julius Caesar? Or is it an American who goes to Shakespeare in the summer because kids like to sit outside, you know? Who are you thinking of? Because the show is plot heavy.

STOCKLEY: Well, do you know what it is? It’s for all those people. It seemed that unless you understand the story of the play—and the arc of the play is the same as the arc of the documentary—it doesn’t have that sense of development, and it leaves you rather unsure as to why you should care about the history of the time, if you’re not quite sure how that relates to the plot. The sense of going outside the play had to link to, well, why are we doing that now? The two seemed to fit in well. Do you need to know the play? No. If you do, we hope it’s not going to talk down to you because we’ll bring other things that you hopefully wouldn’t have known. The point is that what we wanted was for anybody, whatever their background, to find a passion in Shakespeare, to be interested, to be surprised.

[CLIP from Shakespeare Uncovered: “Much Ado About Nothing with Helen Hunt.” Hunt visits the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, where she talks with Professor Michael Dobson.]

HELEN HUNT: I am beginning my journey in the town of Shakespeare's birth: Stratford-upon-Avon. And the first thing I find out is a bit of a surprise, at least for me. Someone pointed out to me that the Beatrice/Benedick story is not really the main plot of the play. I didn't realize until someone said it.

MICHAEL DOBSON: It’s not at all. I mean, nobody has ever really become a star by playing either Claudio or Hero but that's the story that Shakespeare knew—

HUNT: And then Beatrice and Benedict come from…where? From his imagination?

DOBSON: They come from Shakespeare. They're the two star parts that Shakespeare does add. They're the sort of magic ingredient that's stitched into this story to completely change the tone of it.

BOGAEV: Besides the plot, you also have a through-line of the, of the host, so and you do let the host take the lead, was that harder with some hosts than others? For instance, I’m thinking in the Julius Caesar show, Brian Cox opens it by saying, “My relationship with Brutus goes back a long way.” But when you watch the episode with Helen Hunt, she’s only played Beatrice, I don’t know, twice, maybe? So, some hosts give you a lot more to work with, it seems, than others.

DENTON: Mm-hmm.

STOCKLEY: I would say in a way, what we do is we start by talking to them, find out what it is that’s interesting to them about the play. That might their personal experience, it may be they’ve acted in it. It may be another side to it that really fascinates them. In other words, it needn’t be the lead part. For instance, when I think about, it wasn’t in this series, but Macbeth, we had Ethan Hawke playing it. He hadn’t played the character. So for him, he’s coming at it thinking, “How would you prepare for it?” And what are, what’s exciting in the play if you’re coming at it to learn? So quite how they are involved, it’s rather nice that they have different relationships because they’re not trying to set it into a formatted way.

DENTON: I think also with a play like Much Ado, I mean, Helen just loved the play. But because it’s a romantic comedy and because, actually, it really set the template for romantic comedy, we thought—well, and she thought—that it would it be lovely to talk to people who had actually played the roles. So more than virtually any other film in the series, we have two or three or four Beatrices and four Benedicts, and indeed Heroes and Claudios, all of whom contribute. I think there’s something like 13 or 14 interviews with actors, which is against every rule of documentary filmmaking [LAUGHS]. But, it works because this really is a play that actors can enjoy and that’s what we want to try and get across. This is a play that’s fun and so we wanted to have fun with it. So, that’s a “fun” film. Not that any of them are not fun, of course… [LAUGHTER].

BOGAEV: Well, we’ve talked about the people who do know some of the plots and who are very engaged with Shakespeare. But I imagine with every single host and with every single episode, you’re also keeping in the back of your mind, what about the people who just are not engaged with Shakespeare and are coming to this show cold, how do we bring them in?

DENTON: Well, first of all, I think the hosts do that. I mean there’s no question that having people like F. Murray Abraham or Antony Sher presenting your film means people will watch it where they might not otherwise. In a previous series, we had Morgan Freeman doing Taming of the Shrew; I challenge anybody not to turn it on, simply because it’s Morgan Freeman. You’d turn it on, wouldn’t you? And then from the other point of view, neither Nicki nor I are Shakespeare scholars. We are documentary filmmakers, and I hope we bring that kind of sensibility, of, well what’s exciting? What’s going to be entertaining, what’s going to be interesting, what’s going to move people, how can we make them cry? All of those things will come to us during the making of the program.

[CLIP from Shakespeare Uncovered: “Richard III with Antony Sher. An interview with Stephen Greenblatt.]

ANTONY SHER (voice-over): Richard has announced his decision to kill for the crown. His is a warped, cruel mind. To him, it's simply payback time. He'll avenge himself on a world that has told him he cannot belong.

STEPHEN GREENBLATT: We all get that there's something wrong with Richard. Richard gets something wrong with Richard, psychologically. Everyone, starting with his mother, and but also…people in the street, his boyhood chums. Everyone is reacting against his body. It's the reaction that matters, not the body that matters. Richard has had to grow up with that from the beginning.

STOCKLEY: We set out by thinking, “What if I didn’t know this play? I didn’t know anything about it and I had to be persuaded to see it? What would make me feel, ‘Okay, that’s—say that again? I’m interested in that!’” You can do many things, I mean you can look at the historical background; you can look at what was happening in Shakespeare’s life; there are many ways that you can stop on your journey. There’s a point where you stop and divert and do a little bit of background. So it’s thinking about what might engage people even if the play itself isn’t a play that’s very well-known.

[CLIP from an episode of Shakespeare Uncovered: “Julius Caesar with Brian Cox”]

BRIAN COX: The theme of political assassination is so powerful that even staging this play can be a highly contentious act.

BOGAEV: This is your third season, I wonder did you just luck out with the timing for Julius Caesar?

[CLIP continues]

COX: In New York, in the summer of 2017, a production of Julius Caesar with a Caesar dressed like President Trump caused an outrage.

STOCKLEY: I’m going to say the truth, which is yes, we did; it turned out to be timely. But the funny thing is, whenever you do this play—

DENTON: It will be timely.

STOCKLEY: It will be timely. It makes you think: actually, how much power should they have? How should you organize a system of government? What do you do if that person really needs to be removed? I mean, what happens if you actually kill them? And also, who do we believe? You know, you’re absolutely right that it appeared to play to the times, and it was seen to with the production of course in, in New York. But no, that wasn’t why we did it. What’s startling, when you start to unpack Julius Caesar—and indeed, I would say all of them—is how you think, how did he know? How did Shakespeare know that he should be writing this for now, you know?

BOGAEV: Getting back to the idea of your host, because you have so many objectives with each of these episodes, do you ever come up with a through-line, an idea and present it to a host, a potential host, and they just say, “No, no way! I’m just not into that at all?”

DENTON: Yes, that happened, not on this season, it happened in previous season, with Joseph Fiennes. We wanted him to do Romeo and Juliet, because he played Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love. We presented him with a treatment, that meant him going to Verona and looking at the whole history of… and he went, “No, no, no, I don’t want to do a kind of heritage version of this. I want to go to a school in South London and work with kids. I want to find people who’ve been in prison and understand this. I want to see it from a modern point of view.” And this was two weeks before we were supposed to start [LAUGHS].

BOGAEV: Oh, a producer’s nightmare.

DENTON: We worked…  Nicola and I worked very hard that two weeks, and it made a wonderful film. I think he was completely wonderful in it. I’m really, really glad he made us do that.

BOGAEV: Well that sense of discovery is so delightful in the programs. It really comes across. But it’s a tricky thing you’re doing, as well with this through-line of the plot and also textual analysis, where you talk to scholars. And, you talk to the actors, and you talk to directors, so you have plot but then you have people’s opinions mixed in, and it seems like you can, you take different routes. You know at one point you’re talking about, here’s what the play is about, or here are the themes, or here’s what Shakespeare was thinking or doing at the time, with the history. How do you mix and match these elements?

DENTON: Carefully. I mean, it isn’t easy. Of course it isn’t easy, but on the other hand, this is a first-world problem. It’s enormous fun to do. There’s always more that you could do. You’ve got an enormous amount of material, and what you have to do in the first stages is start to think about what’s really going to work for the audience. What’s going to really do the job we want it to do? And that goes back to the very first thing we were talking about of pulling people in who’ve never ever seen it whilst at the same time, entertaining people who know it quite well.

BOGAEV: Well, Nicola, do you have some principles? Like, do you spend more time with history professors in the history plays than with the actors? Or do you always try to balance them and go for a variety of equal screen time?

STOCKLEY: That’s such a good question. Actually, I really don’t. I wouldn’t say that in the history play, you’d have to put more thoughts from historians, funnily enough. I mean, saying that Richard III, the historian that we had actually a theatre historian, Michael Dobson, and his role was to give the story, the emergence of the character, Richard III. Now, obviously, Richard III was a real person, but in Shakespeare’s writing, he’d written Henry VI, Parts 1, 2, and 3, and that set up Richard, and the character Richard emerges in that place. So in a sense you’re doing the two; you’re giving people the sense of, yes okay, historically, we have this pattern. But really, Shakespeare wasn’t trying to write an accurate history. He was setting the stage in that play for this extraordinary character, a tyrant who stands for all times.

So, the job really, the thought was, it doesn’t matter too much about people getting the absolute truth about current scholarship on Richard III, but about what was Shakespeare doing with this character. Where does he come in Shakespeare’s development, and the character development? So that was the emphasis on that one. I think, to be honest also, we are juggling many things, as you say. And you often work out in the edit, something comes out particularly strongly, somebody says something in a surprising way, it may be that our host meets somebody and there’s a real spark between them. So you’ll spend more time on that, try and get the story, the part of the story that you want, tell it through that way. So there’s a kind of flexibility. We’re not set in stone even when we’re filming it. You know, you film various people, explore… say a particular idea, and see in the end what tends to gel, what tends to be more powerful when you have all of them together.

[CLIP from Shakespeare Uncovered: “The Winter’s Tale with Simon Russell Beale.” Russell Beale chats with composer Simon Slater near a piano.]

SIMON RUSSELL BEALE (voice-over): Central to this lightening of mood will be the music and mischief of a tinker, Autolycus.

SIMON SLATER: It doesn't matter if you get it wrong, does it though?

RUSSELL BEALE: It does.

SLATER: Oh.

RUSSELL BEALE: It always matters if you get it wrong.

RUSSELL BEALE (VO): I’m with Simon Slater, the composer for the Globe’s 2016 production.

SLATER: So, you're going to sing this.

RUSSELL BEALE: No! Well, you’re going to sing Autolycus, I think.

SLATER: Well, I’m Autolycus, but there's two ladies, Dorcas and Mopsa

RUSSELL BEALE: That’s me, is it?

SLATER: That’s you.

RUSSELL BEALE (VO): The original music has been lost. So every composer has to reinvent it using Shakespeare's text.

[Music: piano playing.]

SLATER: Ready? Here goes:

[Slater and Russell Beale sing together.]

Get you hence, for I must go
Where it fits not you to know.
Whither?
O, whither?
Whither?
O, whither, whither, whither?
It becomes thy oath full well
Thou to me thy secrets tell.
Me too. Let me go thither.

RUSSELL BEALE: That’s low

SLATER: It is low.

[They sing:]

Whither?

RUSSELL BEALE: I think we can do that better, can’t we. Shall we do it again?

SLATER: You stole my part some of the time.

RUSSELL BEALE: Did I?

SLATER: Yeah, no, that’s right—

DENTON: But we actually… and it wasn’t really until you asked the question that I realized it… we actually embark on every single film entirely separately from everything else. Nicki sits down, says, “Well how am I going to make a film about Richard III?” And it’ll be, it could be completely different in terms of the kinds of people she’ll talk to, but basically, we embrace film as a separate challenge. Each film is completely different, even though certain tropes, as you point out, stay the same.

BOGAEV: There is this sticky point though, that you’re always trying to make good television, and controversy and excitement make for good television. So what do you do when your various sources disagree with each other or contradict each other? How do you choose one over the other? Or, do you always present conflicting viewpoints? It seems to me that you kind of come down on one opinion, usually.

STOCKLEY: To be honest, there tends to be…it sounds rather boring and flattening, but a majority view. And of course there will be controversy, and that’s what keeps it fresh. We care for the way we phrase things, for that reason. But I think to be honest, I think it’s our job to give people something that they can…

DENTON: Rely on.

STOCKLEY: …get a handle on, that’s right. I mean, it can be quite dull, can’t it, when you’ve got a documentary film and it’s kind of neither one thing nor the other. I think you need to be a bit bold. And I think that, again, you know, the actor, the presenter is going to have a view. It’d be very odd for them to shrug their shoulder and not care. And I think that if they feel, yes, okay that rings true to them, well that feels, that sits right with them, then that will help us too, to let’s say be bolder about it. I don’t mean that you’d ever not be accurate about the evidence, but I think that, that helps to weight it.

BOGAEV: Which makes me wonder about what has been a revelation for the two of you. And I’m thinking specifically, some of the most interesting scenes for me were actors; the actors and the hosts talking about their process of their technique and how they inhabit a character or prepare.

[CLIP from Shakespeare Uncovered: “Much Ado About Nothing with Helen Hunt.” Footage from actress Eve Best’s 2011 performance as Beatrice at Shakespeare’s Globe is intercut with Helen Hunt’s narration, and an interview with Best.]

HUNT (voice-over): At this moment, Beatrice is onstage alone for the only time in the whole play

EVE BEST as BEATRICE: What fire is in mine ears? Can this be true?

HUNT (VO): She has just 10 lines of verse to play with…

BEATRICE: Stand I condemned for pride and scorn so much?

HUNT (VO): It's a challenge for any actor.

BEATRICE:
Contempt, farewell, and maiden pride, adieu!
No glory lives behind the back of such.

EVE BEST: I was having a tough time with the speech, I was trying lots of different things. And then I looked down, and caught the eye of a girl who was standing about as far away as you are standing to me. And she had an expression on her face… that she was completely with me. I don't who… you know, whose hand reached out first to whose, but anyway we held each other's hand. That moment of physical contact... suddenly, the speech unlocked and made beautiful and perfect sense.

BEATRICE:
And Benedick, love on; I will requite thee,
Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand.
If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee
To bind our loves up into a holy band.

BOGAEV: So what just took you and knocked your socks off?

DENTON: That’s a difficult one because our socks are knocked off from when we’re making documentaries in plenty of ways. I do think if we go to the actors, what has really knocked my socks off, when suddenly there’s magic happening in front of your face. Now, that’s a personal thing, you can’t really go into that because that’s nothing to do with Shakespeare, that’s to do with acting. And acting is a strangely magical process.

STOCKLEY: But picking up from that, and I absolutely share that notion of them suddenly inhabiting the part and with you being in that room, and hopefully, that’s captured on film. But something that we have in the Richard III film, there’s a scene, infamous indeed, as well as famous scene, when Richard III proposes preposterously.

[CLIP from Shakespeare Uncovered: “Richard III with Antony Sher”]

SHER (voice-over): As part of his game plan, he sets out to woo the daughter-in-law of the defeated, dead king. Trouble is, he killed both the King and her husband, and she's on her way to the King's funeral.

STOCKLEY: And I was asking Tony [Sher], how does he think that works? He said, "That’s something I’d like to speak to with my Lady Anne.”

[CLIP continues. Sher talks with actress Penny Downie.]

SHER (VO): I'm with Penny Downie, who played Lady Anne when I played Richard.

SHER: He loves trying to do something that he can't. That other people couldn't. He's gonna have a go but the odds are completely against him. It's like gambling. He likes the high risk. So, I mean, of all people in the world, he chooses to—

PENNY DOWNIE: —Woo someone who is carrying a corpse of a man he's killed. She was married to a man he killed. She is the daughter of a man he's killed, and he decides…

STOCKLEY: And we intercut that with the Globe actors running that scene, and it started to make sense. It started to have a bit of chemistry.

[CLIP continues]

SHER and DOWNIE [overlapping]: And she doesn't leave.

DOWNIE: Exactly. So therefore, Shakespeare’s. . .

SHER: Neither of them leaves

DOWNIE: Shakespeare's… they've got each other. Whether it's a rant, whether it's… and they just keep trying to maneuver.

SHER: They agree, mutually, to play the scene!

DOWNIE:  Yes.

SHER: Whereas, either one of them could have bought it at any time early on… Could just walk away. But they play the scene.

SHER (VO): Now, Richard really raises the stakes.

ACTOR as RICHARD III:
Lo, here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword,
Which if thou please
I lay it naked to the deadly stroke
And humbly beg the death upon the knee.
Nay, do not pause, for I did kill King Henry—
But ’twas thy beauty that provokèd me.
Nay, now dispatch; ’for I did stab young Edward—
But ’twas thy heavenly face that set me on.

BOGAEV: That was magical. You felt the chemistry between the actors and how they just were transported back into that relationship and how strong that bond is. Even though it… you’re right, it suddenly does make sense.

DENTON: And they almost rediscover it in front of the camera, don’t they?

BOGAEV: Exactly.

DENTON: They rediscover the bond between them.  

BOGAEV: Well we’re into Season Three now, so you’ve done…  Oh, you've done, you know, more than twenty of these plays, and you also a show that put together all the comedies, or some comedies. So, you know, you had Shakespeare’s greatest hits in Season Two. . . and Season Three, you have a lot of the greatest hits. I imagine now you’re getting into the deeper parts of the canon. So what happens when you have a series that’s made up of plays that even die-hard Shakespeare fans might not have seen, like Pericles?

DENTON: Well, I think that’s why this is possibly the final season. If we stopped now, we’d leave out Pericles, we’d leave out Timon of Athens, and…

STOCKLEY: Cymbeline, Troilus and Cressida. We still have to persuade ourselves that we should do another series when we do this. It’s never a good idea, is it?

DENTON:  If somebody wants to come up with the money, you know, we’ll do it. We’ll definitely do it.

BOGAEV: You’ll gird your loins. [LAUGHTER]  An hour-long show, Timon of Athens.

DENTON: Yeah, definitely, you come up with the money we'll be there.

STOCKLEY: [LAUGHTER]. Wouldn’t he love the persuasion.

BOGAEV: Well, it has been a delight watching this series, and I’m looking forward to Season Three, and wonderful to talk with both of you today. Thank you, Richard, and thank you, Nicola.

DENTON: My pleasure.

STOCKLEY: Thank you, thank you very much.

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WITMORE: Nicola Stockley and Richard Denton are the producers of the TV documentary series Shakespeare Uncovered. The show’s third season premieres October 12, and runs through October 26 on PBS stations. Check your local listings for the time and dates near you. The show also streams the following day at www.pbs.org/shakespeare-uncovered and on PBS apps.

Richard and Nicola were interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

“Makes The Hour Full Complete” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. We had technical help from Andrew Feliciano and Paul Luke at VoiceTrax West in Studio City, California and Gareth Wood at The Sound Company in London.

We hope you’re enjoying Shakespeare Unlimited. And if you are, please consider reviewing the podcasts. When you do that, it helps us get the word out to people who haven’t heard it yet. We'd really appreciate your help. Thank you. 

And if you find yourself in Washington, DC, we hope you’ll visit us at the Folger Shakespeare Library on Capitol Hill. See a performance in our Elizabethan theater, and come face-to-face with a First Folio—the first printed edition of Shakespeare's plays. We hope to see you here.

Shakespeare Unlimited comes to you from the Folger Shakespeare Library. Home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the Folger is dedicated to advancing knowledge and the arts. You can find more about the Folger at our website, folger.edu. For the Folger Shakespeare Library, I’m Folger Director Michael Witmore.