Page last updated at 16:45 GMT, Wednesday, 31 March 2010 17:45 UK

Channel 4 gives Romeo and Juliet a Twitter twist

Kevin Lygo
Channel 4's Kevin Lygo said arts coverage would be 'distinctive'

Romeo and Juliet is to be "tweeted" in a link up between Channel 4 and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) as part of the broadcaster's new arts line-up.

Such Tweet Sorrow will tell the story of the Shakespearian tragedy via the social networking website Twitter.

Channel 4 has vowed to double its arts programmes commissioning budget on its core channel to £6m every year.

The broadcaster also announced it had appointed More4 editor Tabitha Jackson as its new arts commissioning editor.

Such Tweet Sorrow will go live on 12 April, but exact details are being kept under wraps until nearer the time.

Classical music

Channel 4's beefed up arts portfolio will also include a prime time series following the Halle Orchestra as it builds a new orchestra of young musicians.

The orchestra will demonstrate the "transformative" power that classical music can have on young people.

"Landmark" series Young, Autistic And Stagestruck will follow nine autistic children from across the UK who come together to produce their own musical show.

Channel 4 director of television and content Kevin Lygo said: "Channel 4 will continue to seek a distinctive approach to its arts coverage, focusing most of our activity on the vibrant contemporary arts scene in Britain today and the visual arts in particular.

"We want to position ourselves as both an aggregator and instigator of the most interesting and challenging art work going on across Britain today."

It was also revealed that digital channel More4 has forged a partnership with Arts Council England working with major artists and institutions to celebrate British contemporary art.

The first product of the partnership, The Royal Ballet in Cuba, made by the Ballet Boyz, will be broadcast at Christmas.

Forthcoming More4 films include a six-part series featuring leading arts figures such as film director Martin Scorsese, artist David Hockney and singer Jessye Norman as they mentor a young person for a year.

The channel will also feature a documentary based on the life of playwright Andrea Dunbar, who wrote the film Rita, Sue And Bob Too

Film4, is also said to be in the "early development stage" on new films with prominent British artists including the Chapman Brothers.

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