TV Highlights

What's on Monday 22nd September

My Shakespeare

Sky Arts1 - 9pm

Who's in it?

Taking time out from playing wise men in Hollywood movies, Morgan Freeman waxes lyrical about his favourite works by the Bard.

In a nutshell

The Taming of the Shrew. Is it a light, sparkling comedy? A prototype of every "battle of the sexes" rom-com to come since? Or perhaps… could it really be… a work of insidious misogyny? These are the questions tackled tonight, not by some stuffy scholar, but by Mr Morgan Freeman: he of the treacly voice and godly resonance. Kicking off a series in which big stars look at their favourite Shakespeare plays, Freeman has indeed opted for the Shrew – which is a bit unlikely. We definitely had him down as more of a Macbeth or King Lear type of guy.

The tale of a rampant, barbed courtship, and the "taming" of a gutsy woman so she becomes an obedient wife, this is a play with a lot of relevance in today's culture wars. Freeman delves into its many layers, and also looks back at classic adaptations, including one featuring Meryl Streep and another with John Cleese. We'll also go behind the scenes at some recent rehearsals at the Globe, where young actors tackle scenes more than 400 years old.

What's the verdict?

To be watched… or not to be? OK, wrong play, but we'll opt for the former. Because, whether you're a lover of the immortal Bard, or just fancy hearing Morgan Freeman talk about things in that voice, this is a cosy TV treat that'll be worth curling up to.

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07-07-2011