The special event will broadcast live, on BBC Two next April, from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. It will feature a variety bill inspired by Shakespeare and performed by major international talent. It will celebrate Shakespeare's enduring influence on all the performing art forms from opera to jazz, from ballet to musicals.
Tennant joined the RSC in 1996 playing Touchstone in As You Like It. He went on to play the leading role in Romeo and Juliet, and Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors, for which he received a nomination in the 2000 Ian Charleson awards for Best Classical Actor under 30. He returned to the RSC to play Berowne in Love's Labour's Lost and a much acclaimed Hamlet in 2008. In Winter 2012 he played the title role in Richard II.
Tony Hall, Director-General BBC, said:
Our ambition is to get more people excited about Shakespeare than ever before – through drama, great performance, documentary; festivals and social media too. We’re partnering with talent right across the country and delighted to be working with the RSC. 2016 is going to be the biggest celebration of Shakespeare we’ve ever put on - for everyone.