Shakespeare Plays Available in Video Format
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All’s Well That Ends Well
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As You Like It
The Comedy of Errors
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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
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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

1911: Frank R. Benson

1912: André Calmettes, James Keane

1955: Laurence Olivier

1960: Michael Hayes

1983: Jane Howell

1995: Richard Longcraine

2008: Scott Anderson


Related

1994: Natalya Orlova (animated)

1996: Looking for Richard

2014: NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage


Richard III
1983: Jane Howell

Made partway through the run of the BBC Shakespeare Plays series, and directed by Jane Howell, this is one of the most peculiar: it is neither a disaster nor wholly successful, but it has a good deal to recommend it.

Part of what makes the production so interesting is its simple allegiance to the original script of the play. Because it unfolds as Shakespeare actually intended (rather than according to some other interpretive plan or high concept) it highlights certain elements of the play that are often otherwise obscured or completely obliterated. High among them is the enormous presence of the women in the play: where in many versions they virtually disappear, here, with a less-truncated script, they emerge as a kind of chthonic force, weighing Richard down with their curses from the earliest stages, and their presence is felt throughout to the end.

The other striking element is the diction pursued by Richard himself, which is middle-class and not at all pretentious or lofty. He limps hastily around, leaping from here to there almost playfully, and in general seems so affable and good-natured that his mounting body-count comes as something more shocking than it might be otherwise were Richard always snarling and twirling his melodramatic mustaches.

As always, the production values are fairly spare, and there is little here that’s remarkable on its own sense: the chief point of watching this (and it’s quite sufficient) is to get the story as Shakespeare himself wrote it. There is little or nothing in the production to give offense aside from the intrinsic issues in the play itself.


Drummer: Brian Little

Drummer: Stephen Paine

Duchess of York: Annette Crosbie

Duke of Buckingham: Michael Byrne

Duke of Norfolk: Peter Wyatt

Earl Rivers: Paul Chapman

Edward, Prince of Wales: Dorian Ford

George, Duke of Clarence: Paul Jesson

Ghost of the Prince of Wales: Nick Reding

Halberdier, Lord Lovell: Oengus MacNamara

Henry, Earl of Richmond: Brian Deacon

Jane Shore: Anne Carroll

King Edward IV: Brian Protheroe

King Henry VI: Peter Benson

Lady Anne: Zoë Wanamaker

Lady Margaret Plantagenet: Patsy Kensit

Lord Grey, Lord Mayor of London: Arthur Cox

Lord Hastings: David Daker

Lord Stanley: Tenniel Evans

Marquess of Dorset: Alex Guard

Page to Richard: Rusty Livingstone

Queen Elizabeth: Rowena Cooper

Queen Margaret: Julia Foster

Richard III: Ron Cook

Sir James Tyrrel: Mark Wing-Davey

Sir Richard Ratcliffe: Anthony Brown

Sir Robert Brakenbury, Earl of Surrey: Derek Farr

Sir Thomas Vaughan: Derek Fuke

Sir William Brandon: Bernard Hill

Sir William Catesby: David Burke

Trumpeter: Frank Walsh

Trumpeter: Nigel Gomm

Young Duke of York: Jeremy Dimmick