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

1978: David Giles

1982: William Woodman

2001: John Farrell

2012: Rupert Goold

2013: Gregory Doran


2013: Shakespeare Uncovered (Season 1, Ep. 3)

Richard II
1978: David Giles

The BBC Shakespeare Plays version of Richard II is one of the crowning achievements of the series. Derek Jacobi is one of the finest living Shakespearean actors, and he brings a perfectly-attuned sensitivity to this very difficult role — second perhaps only to Hamlet in its complexity and in the number of contradictions the character has to support. (I’d argue that Jacobi has also created the finest Hamlet on film, in the same series.) In the beginning, he must embody Richard’s arrogance and caprice; by the end, he must show us a Richard who has grown in dignity, even as his powers are stripped away from him. To integrate the two parts is a constant juggling act on a manic-depressive axis, but Jacobi does a completely convincing job throughout.

The remainder of the cast is likewise excellent. An aging but still healthy John Gielgud portrays John of Gaunt, and so has the delivery of Shakespeare’s most lyrical encomium to England; Jon Finch (who plays Henry IV throughout the series and Macbeth in the Roman Polanski version) makes the rebel Bolingbroke (Henry IV) likeable and appealing without ever letting us forget that he is, nevertheless, a usurper with his own range of problems, which explode in his hands after he takes the crown for himself. His growing uncertainties about what he is doing mesh seamlessly with Richard’s ultimate recovery of the knowledge of his own identity.

If you can possibly find and view this performance, do so.

Abbot of Westminster: Bruno Barnabe

Bagot: Damien Thomas

Bishop of Carlisle: Clifford Rose

Bushy: Robin Sachs

Duchess of Gloucester: Mary Morris

Duchess of York: Wendy Hiller

Duke of Aumerle: Charles Keating

Duke of Northumberland: David Swift

Duke of Surrey: Jeffrey Holland

Duke of York: Charles Gray

Earl Berkeley: Carl Oatley

Earl of Salisbury: John Barcroft

Gardener’s Man: Alan Collins

Gardener: Jonathan Adams

Green: Alan Dalton

Groom: Joe Ritchie

Henry Bolingbroke: Jon Finch

Henry Percy: Jeremy Bulloch

Herald: Mike Lewin

Herald: Tim Brown

John of Gaunt: John Gielgud

Keeper: Paddy Ward

Lord Fitzwater: John Curless

Lord Ross: David Dodimead

Lord Willoughby: John Flint

Murderer: Terry Wright

Queen’s Lady: Phillida Sewell

Queen’s Lady: Sandra Frieze

Queen: Janet Maw

Richard II: Derek Jacobi

Servant: Ronald Fernee

Sir Pierce of Exton: Desmond Adams

Sir Stephen Scroop: William Whymper

Thomas Mowbray: Richard Owens

Welsh Captain: David Garfield