‘In shape and mind transformed’? Televised teaching and learning Shakespeare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reality television offers the BBC the opportunity to fulfil its dual imperatives of education and entertainment, frequently constructed as anathematic. This article considers three recent examples of televised teaching and learning Shakespeare: When Romeo Met Juliet, Macbeth, the movie star and me, and Off By Heart: Shakespeare. It demonstrates the programmes’ fit with the reality genre through their common ingredients of authenticity, contained locations, hybridity, experts, fallible and flawed participants, articulation and reconciliation of social difference. Moreover, all three share an emphasis on a reality television staple: transformation, in terms of the participants’ knowledge, skills and personal growth, but also in relation to television audiences and the British education system. The programmes might thus usefully be understood as part of a reality television subgenre, evolving in Britain since the late 1970s, of Shmake-over. This article is published as part of a collection to commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.
Original languageEnglish
Article number16008
Number of pages8
JournalPalgrave Communications
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this
article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material.
To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/


Dive into the research topics of '‘In shape and mind transformed’? Televised teaching and learning Shakespeare'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this