How to watch Shakespeare: Rise of a Genius on BBC iPlayer from Anywhere

BBC iPlayer, which streams "Shakespeare: Rise of a Genius," is only accessible within the UK. To watch this documentary from abroad, take only two simple steps:

  1. Install Chrome extension.
  2. Open the Shakespeare: Rise of a Genius page and click Play.
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Official Trailer

Watch the trailer down below:


"Shakespeare: Rise of a Genius'' is a BBC documentary drama series that delves into the life and times of William Shakespeare. This three-part series, created to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's First Folio, combines dramatic reenactments with documentary-style commentary. It portrays Shakespeare's journey from a glover's son in rural Stratford to becoming the world's most famous playwright in Elizabethan London. The series explores a world of intense rivalries, political upheaval, and personal tragedies that influenced Shakespeare's work. Featuring interviews with actors, experts, and scholars, it offers fresh insights into how his experiences shaped his writing. The episodes explore different phases of his life, from his initial struggles to his eventual triumphs and challenges, painting a vivid picture of the man behind the literary genius.


Episode # Aired date Description
Episode 1November 8, 2023This episode portrays Shakespeare's departure from his family to pursue his dream of becoming a playwright, entering a world fraught with plague, rivalry, and various dangers
Episode 2November 15, 2023In this episode, as Shakespeare gains fame and fortune, he faces a political scandal that threatens his life and experiences a family tragedy, prompting him to reflect on the cost of his success
Episode 3November 22, 2023The finale deals with the aftermath of the Gunpowder Plot and a family scandal that jeopardises Shakespeare's reputation. He creates his most epic and tragic work yet, with his legacy at risk of being forgotten


The ratings for the episodes of "Shakespeare: Rise of a Genius" according to The Movie Database (TMDB) are as follows:

Episode 1: Rated 4.0 out of 10

Episode 2: Rated 3.0 out of 10

Episode 3: not yet published

Official Cast

  • Host: Simon Russell Beale (narrator)
  • William Shakespeare: Daniel Boyarsky
  • Lord Henry Carey: Béla Szomori
  • Queen Elizabeth I: Petra Lippai-Horváth
  • King James: Máte Kovács
  • Richard Burbage: Gergely Máté Kiss