The Hollow Crown

Sophie Okonedo Joins Benedict Cumberbatch in the Cast of the Upcoming ‘Hollow Crown’ Sequel

Oscar-nominated actress Sophie Okonedo is joining the cast of the upcoming sequel to Shakespeare series The Hollow Crown.

Per a report in the Mail Online, Okonedo will play Queen Margaret (of Anjou), the wife of King Henry VI, who spends much of her reign fighting the York family for the crown of England while her husband slips between periods of madness. Incidentally, she’s also the queen who curses Richard III and is the only character who appears in King Henry VI, Part One that’s still alive at the end of Richard III.

Shakespeare Miniseries ‘The Hollow Crown’ is Getting a Sequel; Benedict Cumberbatch Confirmed to Take Part

Excellent news for Shakespeare fans! Popular series The Hollow Crown is getting a sequel, of sorts! The original four-part miniseries adapted four of Shakespeare’s history plays – Richard II, Henry IV, Part One, Henry IV, Part Two and Henry V – into a single chronological narrative. This second set of history plays – which doesn’t actually have a name yet – will feature adaptations of Richard III and Henry VI (filmed in two parts, instead of three).

These productions will reunite the creative team from Neal Street Productions, including director Sam Mendes, who were behind the original BAFTA-winning Hollow Crown films. Dominic Cooke, former Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre, will direct all three new installments.

“The critical and audience reaction to The Hollow Crown series set the bar high for Shakespeare on screen,” said executive producer Pippa Harris. “Neal Street is delighted to be making the concluding part of this great History cycle.”

British Actors You Should Know: Tom Hiddleston

Much like previous British Actor You Should Know Benedict Cumberbatch, it’s highly likely that you probably actually do know who Tom Hiddleston is, even if he’s only “Loki from The Avengers” or “Henry V from The Hollow Crown” in your mind and you have no idea what his actual name is as a real live person.

You should probably remember his actual name though, because he’s quite a talented actor with a diverse array of roles under his belt. And given the fact that he’s now garnered quite the online army thanks to his Marvel role, general good nature and focus on worthy charitable causes, it would seem that he’s not going anywhere time soon and will probably be making his mark on many more roles in future. (And it's the sort of acclaim that will be well deserved.)

However, Hiddleston’s career is made of more roles than just Loki. Here’s a look at a few of them.

Go Behind the Scenes of Shakespeare Series ‘The Hollow Crown’

Highly anticipated series The Hollow Crown is airing on PBS stations nationwide through October 11, so fans everywhere are getting the chance to see this award-winning Shakespeare production screen in the States at last.

The four plays that comprise The Hollow CrownRichard II; Henry IV, Part One; Henry IV, Part Two and Henry V – bring several of Shakespeare’s most acclaimed histories to life as a single chronological narrative, and explore the ideas behind kingship, including what it means to be a king, a subject, and a man. Starring a tremendously large group of epic British actors of all stripes, the entire thing is just a collection of really, fantastically well done Shakespeare, and absolutely worth your time for a few Fridays this Fall.

Luckily, Great Performances continues to feed our addiction to all things Hollow Crown-related by releasing a special behind-the-scenes mini-documentary about the production, entitled Shakespeare and the Divine Right of Kings. This twenty minute feature boasts exclusive interviews with the directors behind the films, as well as many of the gifted actors involved, including Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston, Rory Kinnear, Julie Walters and more.

Celebrate the Premiere of 'The Hollow Crown': Take Our Quiz Inspired by Shakespeare’s Henriad!

 

Highly anticipated Shakespeare mini-series The Hollow Crown premieres September 20 on Great Performances and – to the surprise of no one, mostly likely – we’ve got more than a few fans of this production (and the Bard, generally) around the office here. The series assembles four of Shakespeare’s most famous history plays - Richard II; Henry IV, Part I; Henry IV, Part Two; and Henry V – into a single chronological narrative, and stars such notable British thespians as Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston, Rory Kinnear, Michelle Dockery, Patrick Stewart, David Suchet and (a lot) more.

(If, for some reason, you’ve not heard of this production before, take a second to watch the UK and US trailers – and then cancel whatever plans you had for the weekend.)

To celebrate the launch of this highly anticipated drama, we put together a little character quiz based on some of the main figures featured in Shakespeare’s Henriad (that’s the fancy name for this particular quartet of plays). So if you’ve ever wondered whether you’re more a Richard II or a Hotspur, well, now’s your chance to find out.

Click here to take the quiz for yourself – and let us know which character you got in the comments!

British Actors You Should Know: Ben Whishaw

Welcome to the second installment in our series on some of our favorite British actors and actresses. You all totally thought I was going to do a Benedict Cumberbatch one first, didn’t you? Don’t worry. We’ll get there. You know it.

British television is often full of what one might term “Hey, It’s That Guy!” actors and actresses – performers you’ve seen probably a dozen times, but maybe aren’t quite sure who they are or where you’ve seen them before. While actor Ben Whishaw’s professional star is rising rapidly, thanks to a couple of recent very high-profile roles (thanks lots, James Bond!), he probably falls under that category for a many of you. But he shouldn’t, because he is the real deal.

Frequently referred to as one of the best British actors of his generation by various members of the press, Whishaw has been nominated for multiple awards for his various performances on stage and screen, and is generally just amazing.

Why? Read on.

First Look: PBS Preview for Shakespeare Series 'The Hollow Crown'

The highly anticipated Shakespeare mini-series The Hollow Crown will finally air in America this Fall as part of PBS’s Great Performances series – and given the response online to the announcement of the series’ premiere date, a lot of people are pretty excited to get their Bard on. (No judgment, I am too.)

The star-studded quartet of films adapts four of Shakespeare’s most famous history plays – Richard II, Henry IV Part One, Henry IV Part Two and Henry V – as single chronological narrative, telling the story of the rise and fall of a dynasty. The series, which stars many notable British actors including Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston, Patrick Stewart, Rory Kinnear, Michelle Dockery, David Suchet, Simon Russell Beale and more, will run weekly on Friday nights beginning September 20.

Watch the first PBS preview for The Hollow Crown below – plus an extra bonus clip featuring BAFTA-winning actor Whishaw performing the deposition monologue from Richard II.

Star-Studded Shakespeare Mini-Series The Hollow Crown Comes to PBS This Fall!

Get excited: The Hollow Crown – a star-studded quartet of several of William Shakespeare’s most famous history plays – finally has an American airdate. The films will premiere on Great Performances this September on PBS stations around the country, running weekly from September 20 – October 11.

The Hollow Crown is a four-part miniseries that assembles four of Shakespeare’s history plays – Richard II, Henry IV Part One, Henry IV Part Two and Henry V – into a single chronological narrative, complete with relevant cast members popping up as the same character across the different plays. It’s beautifully acted, gorgeous to look at and, really, just some stunningly all-around good Shakespeare. So excited that it’s finally going to screen in the US!

Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston star as King Richard II, King Henry IV and King Henry V, respectively, with a supporting cast of such notable British stars as Patrick Stewart, Simon Russell Beale, Rory Kinnear, John Hurt, Julie Walters, David Suchet, Michelle Dockery, David Morrissey and more.

(Both Whishaw and Beale just won BAFTAs for their performances in this production. So you know it’s legit.)

Watch the BBC Two trailer for The Hollow Crown below. (Spoiler: It's really good!)

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