Benedict Cumberbatch and Helen Mirren are among a wealth of theatre stars to join the line-up for a live TV broadcast marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Shakespeare Live! From the RSC will be broadcast live from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, featuring theatrical performances of his works and other pieces inspired by them. Anne Marie Duff, Simon Russell Beale and Antony Sher have now signed up to take part in the show, which as previously announced will be hosted by David Tennant. Also joining the already-confirmed stars Judi Dench and Ian McKellen are David Suchet, Harriet Walter and Rory Kinnear, in addition to Roger Allam, Pippa Nixon, John Lithgow and Alexandra Gilbreath.
Confirmed performances include Rufus Hound and Henry Goodman singing Brush Up Your Shakespeare from the Taming of the Shrew-inspired musical Kiss Me Kate, as well as a rendition of Tonight from West Side Story by musical theatre students from around the UK, which will be choreographed by Will Tuckett. The cast of CBBC show Horrible Histories will also take part in the broadcast, alongside musical comedian Tim Minchin, Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Swan. Shakespeare Live! From The RSC will be directed by Gregory Doran, and will air on BBC2 on April 23 at 8:30pm. It will also be broadcast live to more than 350 cinemas nationwide.