Things I Know to Be True

Andrew Bovell
Parents Bob and Fran have worked their fingers to the bone and with their four children grown and ready to fly the nest, it might be time to relax and enjoy the roses. But as each season brings about a new and devastating change, it becomes clear that life never works out as planned.
Production
(2016)
2017

Hamlet

William Shakespeare

Hamlet, William Shakespeare's longest and most famous tragedy, was written some time between 1599 and 1602. It is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential works of literature in history.

 

Prince Hamlet sets out to avenge his beloved father's death at the hand of his uncle Claudius, who has married the Queen and seized the crown. But Hamlet's spiral into grief and madness has permanent and immutable consequences for the Kingdom of Denmark.

Royal Exchange Theatre
(2014)
Production
BBC Studios
(2009)
Production
Production
The Prince of Denmark: a story vaguely inspired by Shakespeare's Hamlet
British Council
(2016)
Production
Hamlet - RSC 2016
RSC
(2016)
Production
LA Theatre Works
(2011)
Audio Theatre

Related materials

1600

As You Like It

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare's only pastoral comedy, As You Like It introduces a heroine who is arguably Shakespeare’s greatest female character and speaks a quarter of the play’s total lines.

 

Banished from court, Rosalind follows her exiled father into the untamed Forest of Arden. Disguised as a man for safety, her great wit and good nature show through her male trappings as she engages with fools and philosophers adrift in the woods, and ultimately falls in love.

As You Like It by William Shakespeare
Production
(2009)
William attempts to woo Audrey in Shakespeare's As You Like It
Shakespeare's Globe
(2009)
Production
BBC Studios
(1978)
Production
British Council
(2016)
Production
As You Like It, LA Theatre Works
LA Theatre Works
(2016)
Audio Theatre
1599

Macbeth

William Shakespeare
Thought to have been first performed in 1606 as a response to the Gunpowder Plot against James I, and William Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy, Macbeth is a story of power, ambition, witchcraft and murder.
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Production
(2011)
BBC Studios
(1978)
Production
British Council
(2016)
Production
LA Theatre Works
(2011)
Audio Theatre
1606

Much Ado About Nothing

William Shakespeare
Much Ado About Nothing, believed to have been written in 1598, is one of William Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, and takes its defamed woman plot from Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso.
David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing
Production
(2011)
BBC Studios
(1978)
Production
Sam Waterston as Benedick lying down in a small, green and white rowing boat surrounded by greenery
Broadway Digital Archive
(1974)
Production
Love's Labour's Won - RSC 2014
RSC
(2014)
Production

Related materials

1598

A Midsummer Night's Dream

William Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of William Shakespeare's most beloved comedies. Shakespeare combined theatricality, Greek mythology and the supernatural to create what is arguably his most playfully imaginative work.

 

On the eve of the wedding between Theseus and Hippolyta, four lovers find themselves at the mercy of the fairies in the Athenian woods. Interconnecting with a ramshackle group of players rehearsing a play for the celebrations, the stories and confusions interweave and finally resolve.

BBC Studios
(1978)
Production
British Council
(2016)
Production
LA Theatre Works
(2013)
Audio Theatre
1595

Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
SelfMadeHero
(2008)
Play Text

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1866

Henry VIII

William Shakespeare

Likely to have been a collaboration with John Fletcher, William Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, or All is True, could not have been written during Elizabeth’s reign – the events depicted were still so recent – but capitalises on Jacobean nostalgia for the Elizabethan era.

 

In Shakespeare’s account of the infamous king’s tempestuous romantic and political relationship, we see the rise of some – Wolsey, Anne, Cranmer – at the expense of others – Buckingham, Katherine, and Wolsey again.

BBC Studios
(1979)
Production

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1613

Julius Caesar

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar is believed to have been written in 1599. Despite the title, the play focuses more on Brutus and the conflicting demands on him of honour and friendship.

 

The skies over ancient Rome blaze with terrifying portents, and soothsayers warn Caesar of approaching doom. As conspiracy swirls through the city, Shakespeare explores the deep repercussions of political murder on the human heart.

BBC Studios
(1978)
Production
British Council
(2016)
Production
LA Theatre Works
(1994)
Audio Theatre

Related materials

1599

Othello

William Shakespeare

Counted among William Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, Othello draws on contemporaneous works about Venice and Turkey, as well as Giraldi Cinthio’s Gli Hecatommithi, and explores themes of race, jealousy and hatred.

 

Othello has secretly married Desdemona for love, much to the displeasure of her father. The jaded and malicious Iago harnesses the jealousy both enacted upon and harboured within Othello to sew the seeds of debilitating doubt in his marriage, with devastating consequences.

BBC Studios
(1978)
Production
Dear Mister Shakespeare: inspired by Shakespeare's Othello
British Council
(2016)
Production
Othello - RSC 2015
RSC
(2015)
Production

Related materials

1604

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen
The sparkling tale of the Bennets, a family blessed with five daughters and a mother desperate to marry them off. The tempestuous pairing of the witty, independent Elizabeth and her arrogant but honourable suitor Mr. Darcy sets the standard for all great couples of stage and screen.
LA Theatre Works
(1997)
Audio Theatre
LA Theatre Works
(2012)
Audio Theatre

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Richard III

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare’s history plays were written out of sequence, and Richard III was written before Richard II, its first printing describing it as a ‘tragedy’. Unusually, the play opens with a soliloquy from its protagonist.

 

The Wars of the Roses are raging and the Machiavellian Richard of York, Duke of Gloucester, is plotting to seize the throne from his brother, the undisputed King Edward IV.

BBC Studios
(1978)
Production

Related materials

1592

Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet is one of William Shakespeare's most popular and frequently performed plays. The most iconic love story of all time, this is an epic-scale tragedy of desire and revenge.

 

Despite the bitter rivalry that exists between their families, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet have fallen madly in love. But when the feud escalates into violence, the young couple embark on a dangerous mission to preserve their love at any cost.

BBC Studios
(1978)
Production
Adetomiwa Edun and Ellie Kendrick as Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare's Globe
(2009)
Production
British Council
(2016)
Production
Romeo and Juliet
Audio Theatre
1595

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Robert Louis Stevenson
SelfMadeHero
(2009)
Play Text

Related materials

1886

The Complete Don Quixote

SelfMadeHero
(2009)
Play Text

Related materials

1605