Andrew Marr's Not Shakespeare.

Theatre Broadcast last night and currently on the iPlayer for at least a month, The Culture Show and Arts Review replacement Artsnight investigated some renaissance writers who aren't Shakespeare.

Whilst the previous four editions have been a bit of a mishmash, editor and presenter Andrew Marr both defenestrates and adheres to the format (interviews mixed with reports) turning it into what amounts to a mini-presenter led piece about John Ford, Marlowe and Webster with an emphasis on contemporary politics and the position of women in their plays.

Local interest comes from, as you can see from the above illustrative photograph, an appearance by Catrin Stewart, Jenny Paternoster from Doctor Who who is starring in Ford's Love's Sacrifice at the RSC (though note that there's a whopping great spoiler, and yes I do still think that's a thing even with a four hundred year old play if it's relatively obscure).

In an ideal world, in other words any time before the last license fee settlement, the BBC would have commissioned a six or ten part series looking at a bunch of these writers as well as a whole season of new production and repeats.

But then we're still waiting for a proper history of the theatre aren't we?

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