6th Dec, 2016

Cumberbatch and Mirren latest star names for Shakespeare Live! From The RSC

Stratford Editorial 11th Apr, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

HELEN Mirren and Benedict Cumberbatch are among the latest star names to join the stellar line up for Shakespeare Live! From the RSC.

Others confirmed for the 400th anniversary event – directed by RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran and broadcast live on BBC Two on April 23 – include Gregory Porter, Rory Kinnear, Rufus Hound, Henry Goodman, The Shires, David Suchet, Simon Russell Beale, Roger Allam, Antony Sher, Harriet Walter, John Lithgow, Alexandra Gilbreath, Tim Minchin, Anne Marie Duff, Pippa Nixon, the Orchestra of the Swan, the cast of Horrible Histories and Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra.

The performance will be given in front of an invited audience, which will include His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales who is President of the RSC, and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, as well as RSC supporters, partner schools and theatres, local residents and the general public through a series of ballots for free tickets.

David Tennant will be hosting the show and will be joined by Judi Dench, Rufus Wainwright, Ian McKellen, Joseph Fiennes, English National Opera, Meera Syal, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Paapa Essiedu, Alison Moyet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Al Murray and the Royal Ballet.

Alongside numerous theatrical performances to be revealed on the night, Shakespeare Live! will feature Shakespeare-inspired work spanning the musical genres – including hip-hop, blues, musical theatre, jazz, opera and classical numbers based on his plays.

The show will open with a rendition of ‘Tonight’ from West Side Story, performed by 19 of the most gifted musical theatre students from across the UK.

Country duo The Shires will perform a special interpretation of Shakespeare’s poem ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’; Henry Goodman and Rufus Hound will give their own rendition of ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’ from the musical Kiss Me Kate and the Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra will perform Duke Ellington’s ‘Such Sweet Thunder’.

Akala and his award winning music theatre production company Hip Hop Shakespeare will perform a brand new composition; Othello-inspired dance from the Birmingham Royal Ballet will feature; while dancers from the Royal Ballet will perform Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, accompanied by the 65 piece Orchestra of the Swan.

Musicians Rufus Wainwright, Gregory Porter and Ian Bostridge will also be offering songs inspired by Shakespeare -Wainwright will sing Sonnet 29; a filmed performance of Porter singing ‘When That I Was a Little Tiny Boy’ will feature and there will be a rendition of ‘Come Away, Death’ from Ian Bostridge accompanied by Sir Antonio Pappano, recorded at the Holy Trinity Church.

Shakespeare Live! From the RSC will also be screened live to 368 cinemas in the UK and Europe by Picturehouse Entertainment. Visit onscreen.rsc.org.uk for details. are among the latest star names to join the stellar line up for Shakespeare Live! From the RSC.

Others confirmed for the 400th anniversary event – directed by RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran and broadcast live on BBC Two on April 23 – include Gregory Porter, Rory Kinnear, Rufus Hound, Henry Goodman, The Shires, David Suchet, Simon Russell Beale, Roger Allam, Antony Sher, Harriet Walter, John Lithgow, Alexandra Gilbreath, Tim Minchin, Anne Marie Duff, Pippa Nixon, the Orchestra of the Swan, the cast of Horrible Histories and Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra.

The performance will be given in front of an invited audience, which will include His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales who is President of the RSC, and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, as well as RSC supporters, partner schools and theatres, local residents and the general public through a series of ballots for free tickets.

David Tennant will be hosting the show and will be joined by Judi Dench, Rufus Wainwright, Ian McKellen, Joseph Fiennes, English National Opera, Meera Syal, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Paapa Essiedu, Alison Moyet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Al Murray and the Royal Ballet.

Alongside numerous theatrical performances to be revealed on the night, Shakespeare Live! will feature Shakespeare-inspired work spanning the musical genres – including hip-hop, blues, musical theatre, jazz, opera and classical numbers based on his plays.

The show will open with a rendition of ‘Tonight’ from West Side Story, performed by 19 of the most gifted musical theatre students from across the UK.

Country duo The Shires will perform a special interpretation of Shakespeare’s poem ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’; Henry Goodman and Rufus Hound will give their own rendition of ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’ from the musical Kiss Me Kate and the Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra will perform Duke Ellington’s ‘Such Sweet Thunder’.

Akala and his award winning music theatre production company Hip Hop Shakespeare will perform a brand new composition; Othello-inspired dance from the Birmingham Royal Ballet will feature; while dancers from the Royal Ballet will perform Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, accompanied by the 65 piece Orchestra of the Swan.

Musicians Rufus Wainwright, Gregory Porter and Ian Bostridge will also be offering songs inspired by Shakespeare -Wainwright will sing Sonnet 29; a filmed performance of Porter singing ‘When That I Was a Little Tiny Boy’ will feature and there will be a rendition of ‘Come Away, Death’ from Ian Bostridge accompanied by Sir Antonio Pappano, recorded at the Holy Trinity Church.

Shakespeare Live! From the RSC will also be screened live to 368 cinemas in the UK and Europe by Picturehouse Entertainment. Visit onscreen.rsc.org.uk for details.