To Be Or Not To Be: Lockdown Shakespeare

Episode 6: The Strange History of a Radical Speech (Part 1)

November 11, 2020

In this episode, we uncover the radical roots of Hamlet’s soliloquy by tracing how it sounded in the mouths of the famous actors who played the role. For four centuries, Shakespeare has been fought over - is he for the elite or for everyone? It's a battle which has seen ordinary people sent to jail just for performing Shakespeare - and it's a cultural conflict which continues today. This is the first part of a series looking at the revolutionary history of "To be or not to be". With Ben and David Crystal, Sarah Dustagheer, Sonia Massai, David Roberts, Peter Holland, Leslie Ritchie, Jed Wentz and Paul Willenbrock. Readings by Kris Dyer, Emma Fielding, Simon Paisley Day

The Pepys musical version: Paul Willenbrock, bass; Marco Horvat, baroque guitar; sound, Hamish Hossain; montage, Rebecca Young. Paul Willenbrock's website :

For more information on the podcast and how you can help theatres and actors during the COVID lockdown crisis:


Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App