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SHAKESPEARE ON HALLMARK (article first published : 2006-03-12)

Starting on March 12 at 21h15 (repeated at 02h45) with Much Ado About Nothing, Hallmark (channel 8 on DStv) will screen made-for-TV adaptations of "honey-tongued" William Shakespeare’s plays.

Macbeth, A Midsummer’s Night Dream and The Taming of the Shrew are the rest of the gems to be screened on consecutive Sundays till April 2.

Starring Andrew Berkley, Billie Piper, Damien Lewis and Sarah Parish, the up-to-date adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing is based around two newscasters. Ex-lovers Beatrice and Benedick are thrown together as co-anchors of a regional TV news show. Constant fighting mars the fact that they’re made for one another. Will their colleagues’ intervention save the warring couple?

Foul play persists on March 19 at 21h15 (repeated 02h45) in Macbeth, a gripping and vital portrait of the fall of a man and his ultimate realisation of his own corruption. Joe Macbeth is Head Chef in an award winning restaurant owned by Executive Chef Duncan. Whilst Duncan swans around from TV interview to celebrity party garnering praise and recognition for his amazing cooking, poor Joe is hard at work producing culinary masterpieces for the tables. But three witch-like garbage men put a fly in this ointment when they tell Joe that all of this glory could be his and his alone. It stars James McAvoy, Joseph Millson and Keeley Hawes.

Ideas and emotions run wild on A Midsummer’s Night Dream on March 26 at 21h15 (repeated 02h45). This romantic comedy stars Bill Paterson, Imelda Staunton, Lennie James, Sharon Small as four warring couples. With a backdrop of a donkey’s head, and a gaggle of fairies, proud parents Theo and Polly Moon are holding a weekend party to celebrate their daughter Hermia’s engagement to James, her childhood sweetheart and boy-next-door. But Hermia is forced to announce that she loves another, Zander. Watch as the King of the Fairies, Oberon, along with Puck, decide to cause mischief amongst the warring couples.

Last but not least is The Taming of the Shrew on April 2 at 21h15 (repeated 01h00) where Katherine Minola, a talented but shrewish politician, is under pressure to marry for its political PR value. When eccentric free-spirit Petruchio bursts onto the scene and almost immediately proposes, Kate decides to take the plunge. What follows is a romantic comedy exploring the complexities of male/female relationships through their explosive and unexpected romance.

Whether it’s romance, comedy, corruption or “love that looks not with the eyes but with the mind”, find it all on Hallmark, where great stories come to life.




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