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

1910: Eugene Mullin, Charles Kent

1968: John Sichel

1980: John Gorrie

1986: Alan Erlich

1988: Paul Kafno, Kenneth Branagh

1996: Trevor Nunn

2003: Tim Supple

2012: Barry Avrich

2014: Tim Carroll


1992: Mariya Muat, Dave Edwards (animated)

2006: She’s The Man


2006: Shakespeare in Love

Twelfth Night
1986: Alan Erlich

If one is looking for a straightforward cinematic rendition of Twelfth Night with a conservative production design and acting that ranges from the serviceable to the magnificent, one would need to look no further. If only it were easier to find. This film is apparently scarcely known outside Canada, and undocumented even on, but it’s one of the best renditions of Twelfth Night I’ve ever encountered.

All the principal roles are carried off magnificently. Nicholas Pennell deserves special mention: this was one of his last performances on film, and he bears his changes of fortune with a mixture of gravitas and absurdity, until he is finally, devastatingly crushed. The performance is as good as any that can be found even in a field crowded with great performances. Similarly Edward Atienza’s Feste is ugly and gnarled, appealing but repellent, and (typical of Shakespeare’s clowns) an oracle of truth that we still dare not trust. Between the two of them arises a real electricity, wrapped up in the passionate unfolding of their mutual dislike and wish for revenge; when the play ends, we’re left (as we should be) not really sure what to do with either of them. Around their inner tragicomic battle dance Seana McKenna’s extraordinarily appealing Viola, Colm Fiore’s Orsino, and Maria Ricossa’s Olivia, all of them in top form; and the two knights and Maria. These latter three mischief-makers are broadly comical, as they must be, but at the same time their portrayal is a good deal more nuanced and believable than is normally the case.

Unlike most of the other “Stratford Collection” or “Shakespeare Collection” plays from the Canadian Broadcasting Company, this is a fully cinematic treatment of the play rather than a filmed stage production. Though it is still clearly on a sound stage, we never see the stage as a stage, we never see an audience; it makes use of varied camera angles, including trenchant use of closeups and expertly handled dissolves. The sets are attractive and not distracting; the costumes are basically Elizabethan, within the somewhat enlarged range the play demands. All the possible high concept solutions that might be imposed on the play are left to one side to give scope for the genuine character interaction and magnificent dialogue, well delivered.

The DVD is now available in the US, and it is technically better than many of the rest: the image quality is crisp and bright, with no bleeding of image, and excellent color balance and art direction. It’s very watchable and a genuinely laudable production.

Antonio: Benedict Campbell

Captain: Michael Shepherd

Curio: Brent Stait

Fabian: Keith Dinicol

Feste: Edward Atienza

Malvolio: Nicholas Pennell

Maria: Barbara March

Olivia: Maria Ricossa

Orsino: Colm Fiore

Priest: Charles Kerr

Sebastian: Ernest Harrop

Sir Andrew Aguecheek: Joseph Ziegler

Sir Toby Belch: James Blendick

Valentine: David Renton

Viola: Seana McKenna