Shakespeare drama for BBC


Doctor Who writer Russell T. Davies is penning a 90-minute television adaptation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for UK terrestrial BBC One.

Director Steve McQueen, meanwhile, is creating a six-part drama about West Indian communities in Britain during the the late Sixties, Seventies and Eighties.

Billed as “bold and accessible”, the Midsummer Night’s Dream special will be a “truthful version of the play”, according to BBC One.

It films in Roath Lock, Cardiff ahead of a 2016 TX date as part of a Shakespeare season, with BBC Cymru Wales attached to produce in association with BBC Worldwide. Davies will executive produce along with Faith Pinhole and Brian Minchin.

“I’ve wanted to make this for the BBC for my entire adult life – and only the BBC can put on a play like this, for all the family, smack-bang in the heart of primetime,” said Davies. “With a riot of prosthetics, CGI, magic and action, it needs the brilliant Doctor Who team in Cardiff to bring it to life.”

McQueen’s new show will run to six hours, and comes from Rainmark Films Production, with Tracey Scoffield executive producing.

“These stories are passionate, personal and unique,” said McQueen. “They are testimony to the truth of real lives and urgently need to be told. This is about a legacy which has not only made my life as an artist possible, but also has shaped the Britain that we live in today.”

BBC One has also commissioned musical drama series Stop! In the Name of Love, which comes from Red Planet Pictures and was first revealed to be in the works at Tony Jordan’s prodco in January 2014.

The show is the product of a joint venture between Red Planet, former NBCUniversal International president, film producer Duncan Kenworthy and current Antenna Group president Pete Smith and Universal Music UK’s chairman, John Kennedy. The deal opened up the rights to EMI Music Publishing’s library of Motown hits.

Stop! In the Name of Love offers something completely different from any other show on television and I am delighted that the BBC has commissioned our ambitious new original dram,” said Jordan, founder of Red Planet.

“We’ve been developing the series for the past 18 months and have created a piece of drama that will be unmissable event TV and that truly reflects the multi-cultural world we’ve become.

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