A mystery in Shakespeare's sonnets is explored.


In 1609, William Shakespeare published a collection of 154 sonnets, creating what is arguably the greatest lyric sequence in English literature - and at the center of this masterpiece lies a mystery that has endured for centuries. What are the identities of “the young man” and “the dark lady” to whom all but two of the sonnets allude? This moving performance brings to life the gritty reality of Shakespeare’s England, bits of the Bard’s plays and poems, and the consummate poet and dramatist himself as it exposes these personages unseen but so keenly felt in Shakespeare’s sonnets and in his life. Rupert Graves, Tom Sturridge, Indira Varma, Anna Chancellor, and Zoë Wanamaker star. Contains mature themes and explicit language. Some content may be objectionable. Produced by the Open University.

  1. John McKay


  2. William Boyd


Top Billed Cast

  1. Rupert Graves

    Rupert Graves

    William Shakespeare

  2. Tom Sturridge

    Tom Sturridge

    William Herbert

  3. Indira Varma

    Indira Varma

    Lucie "The dark lady"

  4. Zoë Wanamaker

    Zoë Wanamaker

    Countess of Pembroke

  5. Anna Chancellor

    Anna Chancellor

    Anne Hathaway

  6. Andrew Tiernan

    Andrew Tiernan

    Ben Jonson

  7. Nicky Henson

    Nicky Henson

    John Shakespeare

  8. Alan Williams

    Alan Williams

    George Wilkin

  9. Nicholas Rowe

    Nicholas Rowe

    Richard Burbage

  10. View More

Full Cast & Crew

A Waste of Shame: The Mystery of Shakespeare and His Sonnets
A Waste of Shame: The Mystery of Shakespeare and His Sonnets

Status Released

Original Language English

Budget -

Revenue -


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