Tuesday, October 25, 2005

BBC Develops Interactive TV Apps for Shakespeare Productions

The BBC is planning to offer a red-button interactive TV application, dubbed "Shakespeare's Stories," to accompany four "modern-dress" productions of Shakespeare plays that will air on BBC One later this fall. (Note: the productions--of the plays "Much Ado About Nothing," "Macbeth," "The Taming of the Shrew," and "A Midsummer Night's Dream"--are part of a BBC initiative, dubbed "ShakespeaRe-Told," that is designed to bring Shakespeare's work to new audiences via TV, radio and the Web.)

According to the Corporation, viewers who press the red button after each production will receive an introduction to the app's interactive experience from actor, David Oyelowo. The app will allow them to view a scene from each of the plays in the original text, and examine the story from four different angles: they will be able to explore the original language in a glossary; view behind-the-scenes interviews with each play's actors, directors and writers (the plays have been extensively adapted to modern contexts); examine the original context of the plays, and access information on Shakespeare's life (this section of the app will include interviews with noted British director, Sir Peter Hall, and with TV Shakespeare expert, Michael Wood); and explore the themes and moods of the plays.

The application, which was developed by BBC Interactive Drama and Entertainment's ITV team, will be available on all the UK's major digital television platforms, and will also be available via broadband on the BBC's newly revamped TV Web site (see article in this issue

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