I’ve now finished listening to the podcast of BBC Radio 4′s Shakespeare’s Restless World. It’s twenty episodes, each 15-20 minutes long, and it’s a sweeping delight.
The gist of the podcast is an exploration of the world surrounding Shakespeare and his audience. Each episode gives the social, political, and emotional context of a specific theme of scene in Shakespeare’s work. Pirates, for instance. What did “pirates” mean to the Groundlings? Or, beheadings — what did audiences think of when they saw heads paraded about onstage? Or, what does “Moor” mean?
I love this. I love the blend of fiction and reality, of history and literature. The production values of the podcast are high (it’s BBC Radio 4, after all) and it’s an easy listen.
If you have any interest in Shakespeare or British history, I highly recommend this.