BBC and The British Museum Announce Shakespeare’s Restless World Radio Series

The BBC and British Museum have announced a 20-part series to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4, Neil MacGregor, the Director of the British Museum, looks at the world through the eyes of Shakespeare’s audience by exploring objects from that turbulent period.

Neil MacGregor in the recording studio.

Neil uses objects to explore the great issues of the day that preoccupied the public and helped shape the works and considers what they can reveal about the concerns and beliefs of Shakespearean England.

Contributing to the programmes will be Shakespeare scholars, historians and experts on witchcraft and warfare, fencing and food, luxury trade and many other topics. They discuss the issues these objects raise – everything from exploration and discovery to violence, entertainment and the plague.

The objects, drawn mainly from collections around the country, vary from the magnificent to the prosaic, from ceremonial to the everyday. With fresh insights into the restless world of Shakespeare’s day, this series brings a new perspective to how we view our most famous playwright’s work 400 years on.

The series will be another partnership project between the BBC and the British Museum following the success of A History of the World in 100 Objects.

Shakespeare’s Restless World will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in Spring 2012.

The BP Exhibition Shakespeare: staging the world is supported by BP and will run at the British Museum from 19 July – 25 November 2012. The exhibition will feature key objects focussed on in the series. –

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