BBC 2 still hasn’t given us a release date for when the next cycle of their brilliant staging of Shakespeare’s history plays, The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses, will be. But with tetralogy being treated as part of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s demise this month, it’s not a big surprise we got the first trailer along with it yesterday.
The Shakespeare celebration is already on, airing on the BBC, for those who have access to streaming it. David Tennant will host Shakespeare Live! this coming Saturday as well. Furthermore, the BBC iPlayer will also be allowing third party digital content to stream on their channel over the weekend’s festivities, including the RSC’s Richard II. (Starring Tennant, natch.)
As for this second round of The Hollow Crown, for those who haven’t been following, the first cycle (produced in 2012 as part of an “Arts Olympics” to compete with the 2012 games) was Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1&2 (smooshed together), and Henry V. This second series will complete the cycle, doing Henry VI Part 1, then Henry VI Parts2&3 (smooshed together), and concluding with Richard III. Most people know Richard III, thanks to Ian McKellen’s smashing WWII set rendition, but Henry VI is a little done and little produced , especially the second and third parts, since they have one of the largest casts of any Shakespeare play, and one of the biggest battle scenes ever staged in a Shakespeare play, respectively.
Even if you’re not one of the lucky ones who can get access to BBC 2 for the original airings, I highly recommend getting your hands on the blu-ray, which has already announced as being available starting June 21st.