My Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet
Winner of the RTS Education Award for Educational Impact in Primetime, My Shakespeare takes the greatest love story ever written, one of Hollywood's most exciting directors, one of Britain's finest actors, and one of the UK's most diverse communities. They're on a quest to find out what Romeo and Juliet means to the Now! Generation.
Baz Luhrmann is the director of Romeo+Juliet. This stunning film brought Shakespeare to the MTV generation but that was nearly ten years ago. Baz believes it's time for a new interpretation of the world?s greatest story of love and loss. He throws down a challenge: we must make this great play accessible to a new, sceptical, generation.
One of Britain's finest black actors answers Baz's clarion call. Paterson Joseph is an acclaimed film, TV and stage performer. He appeared in The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio, starred in long-running British TV series like Casualty, and is one of the country's finest Shakespearean actors.
Paterson is a man on a mission. He's an evangelist for acting and the energy it can release. Like many local kids he didn't take to school. A regular truant his life was going nowhere till, almost by accident, he ended up in an audition. He was instantly hooked. Through acting Paterson tapped previously hidden reservoirs of self-confidence and found his voice?. Acting changed his life, and it put him in touch with the artist he regards as the greatest writer of all time: William Shakespeare.
Paterson decides to take Romeo and Juliet back to his own community of Harlesden in northwest London. It's a mixed, but predominantly Afro-Caribbean community. He returns to this diverse area to rediscover the meaning of Romeo and Juliet in 2004. Can this five hundred year old play still speak to a young and sometimes sceptical audience? And can this enduring work of art release the talent, vision and energy that lie within Harlesden? This is Mission Shakespeare, and this is what our programme is all about.
Broadcaster: Living TV
Format: 1 x 90"