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BBC to stream Shakespeare globally

midsummers night dreamThe BBC will live-stream a Bollywood-flavoured version of Shakespeare play A Midsummer Night’s Dream later this week.

The Shakespeare’s Globe production of the play, from Emma Rice, will be streamed for free around the world – there is no geo-blocking in place – on the BBC’s Shakespeare Lives website.

In the UK, viewers will also be able to watch the production live and delayed on the iPlayer catch-up service.

On the night, the content will include a there will be a tour of the host theatre and behind the scenes footage and cast interviews.

The live streaming is part of the wider Shakespeare Lives season put together to highlight the contemporary relevance of the Bard’s work.

Cortina Butler, director of Shakespeare Lives, said: “We’re delighted to play a part in making it possible for a truly international audience to experience a magical, modern production from Shakespeare’s Globe.

“Our unique digital partnership with the BBC and leading cultural organisations from the UK, has been a highlight of our year-long Shakespeare Lives programme.”

“Theatre is all about the live experience and I’m delighted that the energy, brilliance and sheer fun of Emma Rice’s smash-hit production is going to reach the biggest possible audience globally through this live-stream,” said BBC Arts’ head of digital development, Peter Maniura. “A fitting climax to our Shakespeare Lives Digital Festival.”

The BBC’s Shakespeare Live digital platform will have hosted three live performances of the playwright’s work after this Sunday’s stream. It has also shown the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Richard II and Talawa Theatre’s King Lear.

BBC commercial arm BBC Worldwide has also been selling Shakespeare Live content, with several European buyers confirmed.