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Want to become a Shakespeare expert without shelling out for theatre tickets? Then check out our five-step film guide...

April 23 marks the start of the World Shakespeare Festival, a celebration of Britain’s most famous playwright and arguably its greatest cultural export. The festival covers almost 70 productions from theatre companies around the world, as well as events and exhibitions across the UK.

But if the thought of sitting in a dark theatre all evening makes you yawn, we’ve drawn up a list of our top five Shakespeare adaptations on film. Simply follow our guide below and soon you’ll be able to wow friends with your knowledge of the bard without having left the comfort of your sofa. 


1. The Taming of the Shrew

Film to watch: Ten Things I Hate About You (1999)

Plot in a nutshell: If Shakespeare was working in Hollywood today he would be as comfortable writing rom-coms as political thrillers. This is one of his many comedies, in which arrogant nobleman Petruchio tries to tempt the headstrong Katherina into a relationship by ‘taming’ her with a pretty harsh regime of reverse psychology.

The general theme - that husbands should be obedient to their wives - may be a tad un-feminist for today’s tastes, but that didn’t stop a mellower high-school adaption with Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles from becoming a box office hit.

Quote to remember: “There's small choice in rotten apples.”


Image from Getty


Shakespeare: the bluffer's film guide
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