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
1982: William Woodman

This is part of a collection of nine plays released under the title “The Plays of William Shakespeare”. As noted elsewhere, this seems an overly ambitious title for a collection of only nine, but be that as it may, the producers’ avowed aim was two-fold: to stage the plays “as originally seen in the sixteenth century”, and to render them accessible to students without strange accents (whatever those might be). They are typically produced with relatively good actors — though showing a distinct preference for those with Hollywood name-recognition; the rest of the production (sets, music, etc.) is typically minimal.

This one, starring David Birney — a variably interesting production, with some outstanding moments. It preserves the farcical scene in which everyone is challenging everyone else to a duel, unlike most of the other productions. That scene seems (among other things) to be a kind of manic and chaotic echo of the first scene of the play, and so perhaps is more important than most producers or directors think it is.

Birney’s performance is committed and in no way really defective, and the shape of the play remains intact under this handling. At the same time, he does not bring the kind of complexity and nuance one can find in the performances of Derek Jacobi, David Tennant, or Ben Whishaw.

That being said, I think this version is genuinely worth seeing, if you don’t have to go too far out of your way to do so. I wouldn’t short any of the other really good ones to do so, however.

Anne: Mary-Joan Negro

Bishop of Carlisle: Logan Ramsey

Bolingbroke: Paul Shenar

Bushy: Jay T. Loudenback

Duchess of York: Nan Martin

Duke of Aumerle: DeVeren Bookwalter

Duke of York: Peter MacLean

Earl of Northumberland: John Devlin

Gardener: Jay Robinson

Groom: Drew Snyder

Hotspur: Nicholas Hammond

John of Gaunt: John McLiam

Keeper: Lanny Broyles

Lord Marshal: William Bassett

Lord Willoughby: Matt Conley

Member of the Court: Curtis Buttenheim

Member of the Court: David A. Thomas

Member of the Court: Linus Huffman

Member of the Court: Mack Owen

Member of the Court: Matt Riivald

Member of the Court: Noel Fisher

Member of the Court: Phill Ruddock

Member of the Court: Tim Didlake

Richard II: David Birney

Second gardener: Charles Berendt

Sir Pierce of Exton: Alvah Stanley

Sir Stephen Scroop: Dan Mason

Soldier: Daniel Steininger

Soldier: Larry Dusich

Thomas Mowbray: Jeff Pomerantz

York: Peter McIean