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

1960: Michael Hayes

1983: Jane Howell

Henry VI, Part 3
1983: Jane Howell

This is the BBC Shakespeare Plays version of the play.

Like most of the rest of the series, and the Henry VI plays in particular, this offers minimalistic production values — very spare sets, minimal costumes, and conventional camera work — but the acting forces are considerable. The cumulative effect of the tragic story line gives it, weak play though it is generally considered, a curious dramatic impact. There is enough backstabbing and double-crossing that one needs a scorecard to keep track of who is doing what to whom. The number of people who change their loyalties partway through the course of events is truly staggering; the weight of the support of the Earl of Warwick gave him the name of “Kingmaker” while he lived. Eventually his vacillations undid him too.

Peter Benson continues to portray the frail and irresolute Henry VI, but his character subtly grows in stature, and he becomes more and more sympathetic as he approaches his tragic demise. His perspective on the monarchy affords a certain amount of the reflective content of the play. Ron Cook delivers an increasingly nuanced performance as Richard, Duke of Gloucester. While in his eponymous play (Richard III) he is an unmitigated villain, largely without motivation or remorse, here we see him actually grieving for his father, the Duke of York (Bernard Hill); the wanton slaying of his younger brother Rutland manages to be curiously moving. Meanwhile Margaret of Anjou, Henry’s Queen, gains in both stature and venom, and becomes the looming presence whose curses overshadow much of Richard III. All in all, for all its limitations, it’s a performance worth seeing. Most of the defects here are an artifact of the writing more than anything in the performance or direction.

Drummer: Brian Little, Gerald Broadley, John Dempster, Stephen Paine

Duke of Exeter: Derek Farr

Duke of Norfolk: Peter Wyatt

Duke of Somerset: Arthur Cox

Duke of York: Bernard Hill

Earl of Northumberland: John Benfield

Earl of Oxford: Brian Deacon

Earl of Warwick: Mark Wing-Davey

Earl of Westmoreland;: Derek Fuke

Earl Rivers: Paul Chapman

Edmund, Earl of Rutland: Mathew David

Edward IV: Brian Protheroe

Edward, Prince of Wales: Nick Reding

Father that killed son: Michael Byrne

First Keeper: Tenniel Evans

First Watchman: Tenniel Evans

George, Duke of Clarence: Paul Jesson

Henry VI: Peter Benson

Huntsman: John Benfield

Lady Bona: Merelina Kendall

Lady Elizabeth Grey, later Queen: Rowena Cooper

Lewis, King of France: Antony Brown

Lord Hastings: David Daker

Marquess of Dorset: Alex Guard

Marquess of Montague: Michael Byrne

Mayor of York: Derek Farr

Messenger to Warwick: Oengus MacNamara

Messenger to York: Tenniel Evans

Post: Derek Fuke

Queen Margaret: Julia Foster

Richard, Duke of Gloucester: Ron Cook

Second Keeper: John Benfield

Sir John Montgomery: Antony Brown

Son that Killed Father: Alex Guard

Trumpeters: Frank Walsh, Nigel Gomm

Young Clifford: Oengus MacNamara

Young Richmond: Tim Fuke

Second Company: Angus Kennedy, Barry Grantham, Brian Binns, Brian Stephens, David Goodwin, David Leonard, David Ludwig, Dikran Tulaine, Gerald Blackmore, Hamish Kerr, Hus Levant, Ian Puleston-Davies, John Rankin, Jonathan Evans, Mark Fletcher, Mark Lindsay Chapman, Martin Rutledge, Michael Cogan, Michael Gardiner, Nick Hall, Paul Benzing, Peter Aldwyn, Peter Macklin, Peter Searles, Stephen Brigden, Stuart Cox