Latest Issue

Bard by the Beeb

Just two Shakespeare plays in five years on BBC television. That makes 100 hours of EastEnders for every hour of Shakespeare

By John Morrison   February 2003

Did you catch that terrific BBC Shakespeare production? No? Don’t worry, there wasn’t one. You will, of course, switch on the next time the BBC does a Shakespeare play? Don’t rush home. It isn’t planning any.

Only two Shakespeare plays have made it to BBC1 or BBC2 in the last five years. Both came originally from the National Theatre: Richard Eyre’s “King Lear” in March 1998, and Trevor Nunn’s “The Merchant of Venice” in December 2001. These were two of the outstanding productions of the past decade. But at this rate, we shall have to wait until 2030 to see…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect