At 9 PM ET on Jan. 2, PBS stations will present a special edition of "Frontline," which examines whether William Shakespeare actually wrote such masterpieces as Romeo and Juliet, Othello and Hamlet. In this half-hour documentary subtitled "Much Ado About Something," "Frontline" producer Michael Rubbo explores the idea that Christopher Marlowe — born the same year as William Shakespeare — actually wrote many of the works attributed to Shakespeare.
In a statement, producer Rubbo said, "The question of whether William Shakespeare actually wrote the works attributed to him is really a 16th century detective story. There are those who consider it to be the biggest literary cover-up in history." Rubbo, who co-produced "Much Ado About Something" with Penelope McDonald, is also the show's writer, narrator and director.
Immediately following "Much Ado" on most PBS stations will be the "Stage on Screen" presentation of Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot." Part of PBS' "Beckett on Film" series, this production of "Godot" marks the 50th anniversary of the world premiere of one of Beckett's best-known works. Directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, the "Waiting for Godot" cast features Barry McGovern, Johnny Murphy, Stephen Brennan, Alan Stafford and Sam McGovern.
Celebrating the life of the late Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, "Beckett on Film" debuted Sept. 15, 2002, with a series of one-acts hosted by Jeremy Irons. The films are culled from the Beckett on Film project, a collection of the Nobel Prize-winning author's works produced by Michael Colgan, who is the director of Dublin's Gate Theatre, and film producer Alan Moloney.
For more information about "Frontline" or "Beckett on Film," visit www.pbs.org.