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

1948: Laurence Olivier

1964: Philip Saville

1964: Bill Colleran, John Gielgud

1964: Grigori Kozintsev

1969: Tony Richardson

1976: Celestino Coronada

1980: Rodney Bennett

1990: Kevin Kline

1990: Franco Zeffirelli

1996: Kenneth Branagh

2000: Michael Almereyda

2000: Campbell Scott, Eric Simonson

2002: Peter Brook

2003: Michael Mundell

2007: Alexander Fodor

2009: Simon Bowler

2009: Gregory Doran

2011: Bruce Ramsay

2014: Adam Hall

2015: Sarah Frankcom, Margaret Williams

2015: Dick Douglass, Obie Dean

2016: Jennifer Nicole Stang

2016: Simon Godwin

2016: Antoni Cimolino and Shelagh O’Brien

2018: Federay Holmes, Elle White

2018: Robert Icke, Rhodri Huw, Ilinca Radulian


1992: Natalya Orlova, Dave Edwards (animated)

2004: Hamlet (opera, Ambroise Thomas)

Production drama

2003: Slings and Arrows (Season 1)


1990: Discovering Hamlet

2010: This is Hamlet

2013: Shakespeare Uncovered (Season 1, Ep. 6)


1990: Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are Dead

1994: Royal Deceit

2008: Hamlet 2

2014: Hamlet A.D.D.

2017: Ophelia (short)

2018: Ophelia

2016: Antoni Cimolino and Shelagh O'Brien

This is from the Stratford Festival, and is not available on DVD in the United States, as far as I can discover. It can, however, be found on Amazon’s streaming service.

It’s worth the effort to track down. In its dramatic purity and its electrifying performances, it is outstanding.

As I have noted elsewhere, despite its record-breaking bulk, Hamlet has little fat: almost every line has some ultimately rational connection to the overall plot structure or the compound thematic discussions that are spun through the play. By the nature of the world, any production of any play is going to emphasize some things at the expense of others, but when that tradeoff is embodied in cuts, it cannot help making that expense all the more. This version is no exception; there are some cuts I personally regret considerably.

Nevertheless, it has more verve, passion, and performance focus than almost any other version of Hamlet I’ve seen. The dramaturgical conceit behind it is focused and brilliant. So is the acting.

Like only a few other plays of Shakespeare, this rides predominantly on the portrayal of a single character, and Jonathan Goad delivers as varied and nuanced — and credible — representation of Hamlet as I have ever seen. He is quick-witted, verbally adroit, but also the victim of genuine emotional tolls that can scarcely be imagined. His interchanges with each other character are shaped to the occasion and to that other character. His dealings with Polonius are bitterly funny; his relationship with Ophelia in the scene where their relationship falls completely a part (“Get thee to a nunnery”, etc.) is fraught with anger and rage, but also with fear that he is in many senses cutting the bands that keep him human. After this his vengeance — first in conception and then execution — grows harder and keener.

Ophelia herself deserves special mention. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the part handled with more ferocity — she is at the end of her tether, but not wandering off into mere vagaries of associated thought, but fighting against her situation with everything she has. It’s not enough, of course, and therein she becomes almost infinitely more sympathetic than the pliant and blandly unhinged version of the role.

Geraint Wyn Davies and Seana McKenna as Claudius (and Old Hamlet) and Gertrude are a plausible pair, and they keep the roles credible. Gertrude is genuinely sympathetic, for all her weakness.

In what seems to be a perpetual quest for “relevance”, or what passes for it, this one is offered on a very spare stage with black rectangular blocks, in costumes that are most evocative of the period from about 1900 to about 1950. Hamlet shoots Polonius in the arras with a rifle (and the words of the ensuing dialogue take note of that, rather than pretending that it’s actually a sword). I don’t see the utility or purpose of this, though from the point of view of art direction, the costumes are stunning and loaded with significant primary colors — black, white, blue, and red — against a larger cast of people dressed in olive drab and shades of grey. The cinematic handling of the film direction of what was primarily a stage production is masterful.

It is not without some stumbles and errors. There are places where the script deviates from the wording of the text as best constructed; that’s de rigueur for modern productions. In a few places, though, the phrasing substantially changes the meaning of the sentence. In replying to Polonius, who has asked Hamlet’s leave to go, Hamlet says, “You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will / more willingly part withal: except my life, except / my life, except my life.” Whether by decision of the director or autonomously, or just by mistake, Goad slips a “not” into that formulation — “I will not more willingly part withal” — which doesn’t so much reverse the meaning as turn it into gibberish. His point is “I’m exceedingly willing for you to be gone”; but that’s not what it says when Goad gives the line. With the “not”, it would mean that he would grant this permission least willingly of all...but what (in a dramatic context) could that really possibly mean? I would be interested to know the rationale behind the change of wording, if there is one.

Barnardo: Brad Rudy

Claudius: Geraint Wyn Davies

Cornelius: Andrew Robinson

Court Lady: Shruti Kothari

English Ambassador: Brian Tree

Fortinbras Captain: Xuan Fraser

Fortinbras: John Kirkpatrick

Francisco: Josue Laboucane

Gentlewoman: Ijeoma Emesowum

Gertrude: Seana McKenna

Gravedigger #1: Robert King

Gravedigger #2: Brian Tree

Guildenstern: Steve Ross

Hamlet: Jonathan Goad

Horatio: Tim Campbell

Laertes: Mike Shara

Lucianus: Derek Moran

Marcellus: John Kirkpatrick

Messenger: Josh Johnston

Old Hamlet (Ghost): Geraint Wyn Davies

Ophelia: Adrienne Gould

Osric: Mike Nadajewski

Player King: Juan Chioran

Player Queen: Sarah Afful

Player: Shruti Kothari

Polonius: Tom Rooney

Priest: Derek Moran

Prologue: Tiffany Claire Martin

Reynaldo: Jennifer Mogbock

Rosencrantz: Sanjay Talwar

Sailor: Josue Laboucane

Understudy: Karen Robinson

Voltemand: Thomas Antony Olajide (as Thomas Olajide)