Review: Shakespeare’s Legacy with John Nettles | Virgin Media
Review: Shakespeare’s Legacy with John Nettles

Review: Shakespeare’s Legacy with John NettlesAired Thursday 21st April at 9pm on Yesterday (CH 245) | Rating: ★★★☆☆

21/04/2016TV

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The life of the Bard was laid bare in this deliciously gossipy documentary which delved into the playwright’s incredible career. 

In a nutshell

Is John Nettles the most likeable chap on telly? He’s definitely up there, as this programme proved. Wandering around Stratford-upon-Avon, waxing lyrical about William Shakespeare, his soothing dulcet tones talking us through the life of the writer, Nettles was like everyone’s favourite uncle. Gentle, informative, charming –the ideal host. And the revelations were rather engrossing too. Who knew that, according to some accounts, Shakespeare was accused of poaching deer from an aristocrat’s estate?

The best bits of the programme dealt with Shakespeare’s so-called “lost years” – that stretch of time separating his life as an ordinary Stratford lad and his later life as a great actor and writer. Turns out, nobody knows what he did during that phase, and John Nettles clearly relished serving up the various outlandish theories. There was also talk of Shakespeare’s rivalries with other writers of the day, and we got a real flavour of what London was like during those turbulent times.

What's the verdict?

You didn’t have to be an expert on Macbeth or Twelfth Night to be utterly enchanted by this lovely look at our nation’s iconic writer. It certainly would have banished memories of dull double English lessons at school. 

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