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
2012: Rupert Goold

The BBC miniseries called The Hollow Crown appeared in 2012, covering the two tetralogies of Shakespeare History plays (that is, not including the two outlying pieces King John and Henry VIII). The second tetralogy is (according to IMDB) expected in 2016, but so far the collection includes very well acted versions of the first four — Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2, and Henry V.

This production is spectacularly, extravagantly cinematic, played in all respects for the camera rather than the stage. The result has a crisp and finished A-list movie quality that is hard to beat on its own terms. The imagery is crystal clear; every shot is framed to perfection. It has a thorough-composed score — that is, there’s music under most parts of the play, even including the dialogue. Action is expertly filmed and cinematically plausible. The art direction is breathtaking, and makes full use of the color palette, ranging from somber blue hues to the explosive pastels and gold with which the naive and credulous king expresses his all-too-aesthetically precious personality. Art in this movie is not just a medium: it’s also part of the thematics of the story.

Ben Whishaw’s performance as Richard himself is repellent and affecting all at the same time, which is how it ought to be, I think: by the end of the play he rises to a genuine grandeur of stature. Patrick Stewart does not have the voice of John Gielgud, or his sense of lyric musicality, but as a dramatic presentation of the character of John of Gaunt, I think he does an even better job. David Suchet, whom many will remember from the BBC Poirot mysteries, is amazing as the Duke of York.

There are plenty of particular things in this production one might well disagree with — that’s part of the nature of the game. To make room for the cinematic quality of the play, the script is cut — and that’s a price I am always loth to pay. But for what it is, there are really no false notes, and the result is electrifying to watch. I would say that it’s not just worth seeing — any fan of this play, or anyone hoping to understand it completely, really needs to see it.

Abbot of Westminster: Richard Bremmer

Bagot: Samuel Roukin

Bishop of Carlisle: Lucian Msamati

Bolingbroke Rebel: Robert Clayton

Bolingbroke: Rory Kinnear

Duchess of York: Lindsay Duncan

Duke of Aumerle: Tom Hughes

Duke of York: David Suchet

Earl of Northumberland: David Morrissey

Gardener’s Assistant: Simon Trinder

Groom: Daniel Boyd

John of Gaunt: Patrick Stewart

King Richard: Ben Whishaw

Lord Marshall: Finbar Lynch

Lord Ross: Peter De Jersey

Lord Willoughby: Adrian Schiller

Queen Isabella: Clémence Poésy

Sir Henry Green: Harry Hadden-Paton

Sir John Bushy: Ferdinand Kingsley

Sir Stephen Scroop: Tom Goodman-Hill

The Gardener: David Bradley

The Queen’s Serving Lady: Isabella Laughland

Thomas Mowbray: James Purefoy

Welsh Captain: Rhodri Miles