Shakespeare Plays Available in Video Format
Scholars Online Educational Resources


All’s Well That Ends Well
Antony and Cleopatra
As You Like It
The Comedy of Errors
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
Measure for Measure
The Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Much Ado About Nothing
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

Available versions

1936: George Cukor

1954: Renato Castellani

1965: Val Drumm, Paul Lee

1968: Franco Zeffirelli

1976: Joan Kemp-Welch

1978: Alvin Rakoff

1993: Norman Campbell

1994: Alan Horrox

1996: Baz Luhrmann

2010: Dominic Dromgoole

2013: Carlo Carlei

2014: Don Roy King, David Leveaux


1961: West Side Story

1992: Efim Gamburg, Dave Edwards (animated)


2015: Shakespeare Uncovered, Season 2, Episode 2

Romeo and Juliet
1994: Alan Horrox

This is one of the most visually remarkable productions I have seen. It’s far less glowingly beautiful than the Zeffirelli production, but at the same time it’s arresting and convincing to watch. The problem is that it reduces Shakespeare’s play by such severe cutting that only the bare love story remains, surrounded by circumstantial tatters that are hard to piece together into a coherent whole. The whole runs to only 81 minutes — not even half as long as some other productions. Whole scenes are discarded, and others are reduced to the bare minimum and beyond.

The result is something that is hard to gauge or to measure alongside other productions. None of the performances is really outstanding; none of them is really appallingly bad, either. Romeo is credible, Juliet slightly less so (I think); the supporting cast is supremely adequate. Mercutio is wildly manic and even threatening, but he lacks McEnery’s and Barrymore’s comic notes, and hence is far less sympathetic. My sense for the drama is that Mercutio’s death shouldn’t come as a relief — and here it does.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the production as a whole is its art direction, which recalls Vermeer more than anything else. Lighting is not uniformly bright, as it is in Zeffirelli, or uniformly dim, as it is in some of the BBC productions: by day, the sun may shine brightly outside, but light enters rooms through the windows, and creates visually striking shadows on walls and across the omnipresent checkered floor. By night, there is only candlelight. The sets look as though they are taken from a sequence of Renaissance still-life paintings, and the colors are balanced with a painterly regard for the screen as a canvas. Costumes are not extravagant or gorgeous, but simple and attractive. The experience is somewhat peculiar, in that the setting for the story seems to have been put together with more care and subtlety than what is left of the play, when all is said and done.

All in all, worth seeing, but a kind of Shakespeare Lite when it comes to presenting the actual words of the poet.

Balthasar: Nicholas Barnes

Benvolio: Michael Müller

Capulet: John Nettles

Friar Lawrence: John Woodvine

Juliet: Geraldine Somerville

Lady Capulet: Jenny Agutter

Lady Montague: Kate Riding

Mercutio: Ben Daniels

Montague: Martin Milman

Nurse: Dearbhla Molloy

Paris: Freddy Douglas

Prince Escalus: David Lyon

Romeo: Jonathan Firth

Tybalt: Alexis Denisof