Chapter

Shakespeare and Radio

Susanne Greenhalgh

in The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780748635238
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652297 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635238.003.0030
Shakespeare and Radio

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This chapter discusses the history of radio Shakespeare across the English-speaking world. It reviews some of the debates about the role of Shakespeare in the development of radio as an art form, and the aesthetic and interpretive choices of the resulting programmes, with particular attention to adaptations of Hamlet. The precise nature of Shakespeare's presence and remediation on English-speaking radio is bound up with the way radio developed in different countries and periods, especially the degree to which broadcasting was commercially based, state-funded, or a mix of the two. The model for public service broadcasting set by the BBC was largely followed by radio in countries which now form part of the British Commonwealth. Shakespeare largely faded from the airwaves with the coming of nationwide television, but did not completely disappear. Shakespeare on radio has frequently been the product of national needs and the focus of international transactions and policies.

Keywords: English-speaking radio; Shakespeare; Hamlet; British Commonwealth; airwaves; adaptations; public service broadcasting

Chapter.  10065 words. 

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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