Saturday was the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare (as far as we can tell) and is also the day that Shakespeare’s birth is observed (for reasons that are beside the point here). The British Broadcasting Corporation, along with the Royal Shakespeare Company, presented a special night of celebrating Shakespeare’s life and legacy with performances of scenes from his plays as well as works from other artists that have been inspired by him.
One such performance centered on one of the most well-known quotes from Shakespeare: “To be or not to be, that is the question,” from Hamlet. In this sketch, seven different actors (many of whom have played Hamlet in the past) help actor Paapa Essiedu (who is currently playing Hamlet with the RSC in Stratford-Upon-Avon) figure out the best way to perform such a famous line. The last person to give his input is Prince Charles, who attended the performance with his wife Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall. Of course, like everybody else, his input is not very helpful.
You can see the video here.
If you’re interested in seeing more, RSC OnScreen will be replaying this special in theatres on May 6. In the United States, FathomEvents will be broadcasting it in theatres on May 23. More information can be found in the links.