Shakespeare Plays Available in Video Format
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All’s Well That Ends Well
Antony and Cleopatra
As You Like It
The Comedy of Errors
Coriolanus
Cymbeline
Hamlet
Henry IV, part 1
Henry IV, part 2
Henry V
Henry VI, part 1
Henry VI, part 2
Henry VI, part 3
Henry VIII
Julius Caesar
King John
King Lear
Love’s Labour’s Lost
Macbeth
Measure for Measure
The Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Much Ado About Nothing
Othello
Pericles
Richard II
Richard III
Romeo and Juliet
The Taming of the Shrew
The Tempest
Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus
Troilus and Cressida
Twelfth Night
Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Winter’s Tale
Shakespeareana

Available versions

1909: Charles Kent, J. Stuart Blackton

1935: William Dieterle, Max Reinhardt

1968: Peter Hall

1981: Elijah Moshinsky

1982: Joseph Papp, Emile Ardolino

1996: Adrian Noble

1999: Michael Hoffman

2010: Bo Bergstrom

2014: Dominic Dromgoole

2014: Julie Taymor


Adaptations

1992: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Animated)

2005: ShakespeaRe-Told: A Midsummer Night’s Dream


Related

2015: Shakespeare Uncovered, Season 2, Episode 4


A Midsummer Night’s Dream
1982: Joseph Papp, Emile Ardolino

No longer available commercially on videotape or DVD, this can still be found occasionally in libraries in its VHS form. The film is based on a performance in the park, combining naturalistic outdoor settings with bizarrely mannered delivery, very peculiar costumes, and uneven acting. Joseph Papp was the director of at least one of the BBC Shakespeare plays; the adaptation for the stage is by James LePine, whose long theatrical career includes “Into the Woods”, on which he collaborated with Stephen Sondheim.

The lead roles go to some good actors, but the decisions behind the performance produce something that may have played better as live theater than on film. William Hurt as Oberon delivers his lines as if he were acting in a kabuki play, with exaggerated rising and falling pitches, that give an overall impression of a drug-induced stupefaction and leaves Shakespeare’s verse in complete disarray. Michele Shay’s Titania, on the other hand, roars many of her lines, with the result that the end product lacks any gradation of intensity. The whole is punctuated with peculiar and frankly tedious music alternating with stage effects that don’t work on film, and perhaps didn’t even quite work in live performance; in transferring the whole to film, finally, the production values are minimal at best.


Bottom: Jeffrey DeMunn

Demetrius: Rick Lieberman

Flute: Paul Bates

Helena: Christine Baranski

Hermia: Deborah Rush

Hippolyta: Diane Venora

Human child: Emmanuel Lewis

Lysander: Kevin Conroy

Oberon: William Hurt

Philostrate: Ricky Jay

Puck: Marcell Rosenblatt

Quince: Steve Vinovich

Snout: Andreas Katsulas

Snug: Peter Crook

Starveling: J. Patrick O’Brien

Theseus: James Hurdle

Titania: Michele Shay