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Collection Of BBC Shakespeare DVDs

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Collection Of BBC Shakespeare DVDs
Description:

Shakespeare The BBC Collection - 37 New and Sealed Full Sized DVDs

37 DVD, PAL, Region 2

William Shakespeare - The Complete BBC Collection

A Complete Collection - Of all of the BBC produced Shakespeare plays from 1978-1985 starring a list of some of our best loved actors and actresses such as Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir John Gielgud, Helen Mirren, John Hurt, Felicity Kendall, John Cleese, Diana Rigg, the list goes on and on...

In 1978, the BBC set itself the task of filming all of William Shakespeare's plays for television. The resulting productions, renowned for their loyalty to the text, utilised the best theatrical and television directors and brought great performances from leading contemporary actors. The full listing of plays are shown below.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not the compressed presentation box set of DVDs but a complete independent set of original full sized DVDs each one brand new and individually sealed. These DVDs will be delivered to you together in a standard package.

The Tempest

"O wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
that has such people in't."

Prospero, the true Duke of Milan, is now living on an enchanted island with his daughter Miranda, the savage Caliban and Ariel, a spirit of the air. Raising a storm to bring his brother - the usurper of his dukedom - along with his royal entourage, to the island, Prospero contrives his revenge.

The quality cast of this production help bring to life the magic and intrigue of a tale of spirits, sorcery, monsters, maidens and shipwrecked, scheming noblemen. In what is regarded as his final play, Shakespeare, at the height of his powers, deftly explores the contrasting themes of control and power, illusion and reality, and nature and society.

Cymbeline

"All of her that is out of door most rich!
If she be furnish’d with a mind so rare,
She is alone the Arabian bird, and I
Have lost the wager. Boldness be my friend!
Arm me, audacity, from head to foot!"

Cymbeline, the King of Britain, is angry that his daughter Imogen has chosen the low-born Posthumus as her husband. As the Queen tries to force Imogen to marry her own son, Posthumus flees to Rome. There his new 'friend' Iachimo sets out to prove - by fair means or foul - that the pure Imogen will betray him.

One of Shakespeare's final plays, Cymbeline has been celebrated for its characterisation particularly that of Imogen and Iachimo (played here by Helen Mirren and Robert Lindsay). The New Your Times welcomed this fine performance commenting that director Hugh Moshinsky had carried out "an outstanding job"

Richard II

"You may my glories and my state depose,
But not my griefs; still I am king of those."

Richard II, who ascended to the throne as a young man, is a regal and stately monarch. He believes he is the rightful ruler of England, ordained by God, yet he is a weak and ineffective king - wasteful in his spending habits, unwise in his choice of counsellors and detached from his country and its people. When he seizes the land of his cousin Henry Bolingbroke, both the commoners and the king's noblemen decide that their king has gone too far.

This production boasted the most distinguished cast of the entire project, with Derek Jacobi in the title role and Sir John Gielgud as John of Gaunt. Perfectly suited to a play that consists entirely of verse, their efforts were augmented by a studio set that enabled the director to reflect an intense psychological struggle as well as a taut political drama.

Othello

"O beware, my lord, of jealousy: It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on."

When the young Desdemona defies her father to marry Othello, the Moor of Venice seems to have everything - love, friendship, status and respect. But within Othello's great love for his bride lies the seeds of its own destruction. And, from his own ranks, comes the slighted Iago - a manipulative figure who is prepared to nurture the Moor's misgivings for his own interests.

Jonathan Miller's magnificent production utilises the indubitable talents of Anthony Hopkins and Bob Hoskins in the lead roles of Shakespeare's theatrical masterpiece. Indeed Hopkins admitted, "Othello is the part I've always most wanted to play." Together they weave an increasingly tense web of manipulation, deception and jealousy on a tragic path to self-understanding.

Measure For Measure

"Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall:
Some run from brakes of vice, and answer none,
And some condemned for a fault alone."

The strict Angelo is left in charge of Vienna when the Duke pretends to leave town. Reviving an old law, Angelo sentences the young Claudio to death for pre-marital sex. When Claudio's sister, Isabella, pleads for his life, Angelo offers to spare him – in exchange for her virginity.

Shakespeare's "dark" comedy weaves between the moral posts of lust, mercy and justice. Kenneth Colley and Tim Pigott-Smith are excellent as the seemingly cold and inscrutable Duke and Angelo, while Kate Nelligan's Isabella moved The New York Times to describe her as “the image of idealized faultlessness.”

Julius Caesar

"Cry Havoc! and let slip the dogs of war."

The crowds may have hailed Julius Caesar after his conquering of Pompey the Great, but there are other Romans who are alarmed at the power and authority the great dictator is assuming. Among them are a leading citizen Cassius and the respected Marcus Brutus, a friend of Caesar. The consequences of their actions will soon throw the Republic into violent and bitter turmoil.

Shakespeare's greatest Roman tragedy breaks all conventional rules of drama, creating neither a clear-cut hero nor villain. Director Herbert Wise, who also directed the great BBC dramas I Claudius and Elizabeth R. brilliantly, conveys a world of personal and political conflict while allowing the play's chilling supernatural undercurrent to emerge.

Taming Of The Shrew

"I am as peremptory as she proud-minded.
And where two raging fires meet together
They do consume the thing that makes them fury."

Baptista, a Paduan gentleman, has two daughters, Katherine and Bianca. Bianca is beautiful, sweet tempered and obedient and several suitors seek her hand in marriage. Baptista, however, insists that Katherine, just as beautiful but sharp-tongued and rebellious., must be married first. The only man willing to court her is the equally feisty Petruchio, a stranger from Verona in search of a rich wife.

Shakespeare's comic confrontation between the sexes is rich with sparkling wit and great characterisation. This production was admired for Jonathan Miller's fidelity to Elizabethan social mores and for an outstanding cast including John Cleese, whose portrayal of Petruchio won unanimous critical acclaim.

Hamlet

"Though this be madness, yet there is method in't ."

Returning to Denmark, Prince Hamlet finds his father killed and the throne usurped by his uncle. Inspired by his father's ghost to seek vengeance, he is forced to consider the nature of murder and violence, revenge and intrigue, sex and desire, paranoia and madness and the very essence of humanity itself.

Derek Jacobi's portrayal of the Prince of Denmark is often seen as the benchmark for performances of the most complex of all Shakespearian characters. The Los Angeles Times reported: "The stage belongs to Jacobi and, in a performance that grows as he plays it, he's a Hamlet you will not soon forget."

Macbeth

"Methought I heard a voice cry 'Sleep no more! Macbeth doth murder sleep'."

Shakespeare's dark tragedy tells of ambition and guilt amidst a background of regicide, violence and the supernatural. When a trio of witches tells returning hero warrior Macbeth that he is fated to become King of Scotland, he attempts to forge his own destiny. Aided and encouraged by his wife, he embarks on a guilt-ridden reign of terror.

Nicol Williamson (Macbeth) and Jane Lapotaire (Lady Macbeth), both renowned Shakespearian actors, bring a tension and mood to the play rarely seen outside of major theatrical events. Their performances bear testament as to why Macbeth remains one of Shakespeare's most popular plays and this production has brought its magic to millions.

A Midsummer Nights Dream

"Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind."

In the woods of Athens, runaway couples, the King and Queen of the fairies, the impish sprite Puck and a band of "rude mechanicals" prove “the course of true love never did run smooth” as they play out a comedy of love and the confusion it sometimes brings.

Shakespeare’s fairytale comedy contains some of the most lyrical expressions of love, dreams and imaginations. The performance is star-studded, with Helen Mirren as Titania and Peter McEnery as Oberon dominating the proceedings, supported by a superb cast. As The New York Times wrote “they are all accomplished performers, but the director has given the extra dimension of using them brilliantly in terms of television.”

King Lear

"He’s mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse’s health, a boy’s love, or a whore’s oath."

When King Lear rejects his most devoted daughter Cordelia because she refuses to patronise him with hollow sentiments, he embarks on a journey into humiliation, loneliness and eventually madness. In what is widely regarded as Shakespeare’s greatest creative achievement, a story of family conflict ultimately reveals the bare futility of the human condition.

Director Jonathan Miller has had so many triumphs with this great Shakespearian tragedy that his name is now synonymous with the play. In this renowned version, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Michael Hordern gives a remarkable performance in the lead role.

Romeo & Juliet

"My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!"

Romeo, heir of the lordly Montague family of the Italian city of Verona, attends a masked dance held by the Capulets, their bitter rivals in the city. There, Romeo falls in love with Juliet Capulet. Secretly married by the obliging Friar Lawrence, the couple have only their love with which to confront the violence of the ancient warring factions.

This BBC production of Shakespeare’s study of fate and the power and contrary nature of love features an all-star cast with Sir John Gielgud as the Chorus and a young Alan Rickman as Tybalt. It has been acclaimed as one of the most faithful and distinctive versions ever to be filmed.

Richard III


"And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days
"

Richard, the younger brother of the King of England is hell-bent on seizing control of the crown and so embarks on a murderous rampage which, once started, cannot easily be stopped.

This BBC production is the most faithful adaptation of Shakespeare’s study of evil, with only minor edits made to the full text. Ron Cook’s powerfully understated, soft-spoken performance stands in stark contrast to the many forthright movie interpretations of the Bard’s greatest villain.

Loves Labours Lost

"Let us once lose our oaths to find ourselves,
Or else we lose ourselves to keep our oaths.
"

When the King of Navarre and three of his lords vow to renounce women and devote themselves to study, they have forgotten the forthcoming arrival of the Princess of France and her attractive ladies-in-waiting...

This production of Shakespeare’s comedy highlights his satire of intellectual pride and pedantry. Wit and word-play are the weapons in the play’s sparkling conflicts and this cast performs magnificently in capturing the perfect tone for Shakespeare’s playful and elaborate poetry.

The Merry Wives Of Windsor

"O, what a world of vile ill-favour’d faults
Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year.
"

Among the honest folk of Windsor, Sir John Falstaff stands out as a rogue, a chancer and an oaf. More concerned with his lack of money, the ageing, overweight Falstaff hatches a plan to court two wealthy married women, Mistress Ford and Mistress Page. When the two wives get together they devise their own plan to teach the knight a lesson...

Shakespeare’s boisterous comedy of love and money was supposedly written because Queen Elizabeth wanted to see Falstaff in love. One of the great Shakespearian characters, Falstaff, played here with great gusto by Richard Griffiths, is mercilessly taunted by Judy Davis and Prunella Scales as the wives.

As You Like It

"All the world’s a stage
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts.
"

Banished young lovers Orlando and Rosalind escape to the Forest of Arden with their friends and servants. In this idyllic setting they find the simple life confused by entangled love affairs, cross-dressing, love poems and even a lion...

Helen Mirren and Brian Stirner star as Rosalind and Orlando in one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies. Considering the delights of love, the nature of human experience and the contrast between life in the court and the country. Shakespeare fills the romantic plot with both humorous and clever wordplay.

Henry V

"And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
"

Insulted by the Dauphin, the newly-crowned King Henry V gathers his troops for war. But Henry must convince his men that he has left his wild days behind, and prove himself as a leader.

Henry V tells a tale of intrigue and betrayal, courtly romance, and a heroic battle against outrageous odds. The lead, played here by David Gwillim, is one of the most coveted of roles with inspiring lines including the St Crispin’s Day speech.

The Two Gentlemen Of Verona

"What light is light, if Silvia be not seen?
What joy is joy, if Silvia be not by?
Unless it be to think that she is by
And feed upon the shadow of perfection.
"

Two great friends leave Verona for Milan. Valentine with great enthusiasm and Proteus unwillingly, as he will have to leave his recently-betrothed Julia. Valentine soon falls in love with Silvia, daughter of the Duke of Milan, but then Proteus meets the captivating Silvia... and he too becomes besotted.

One of Shakespeare’s earliest plays, this comedy examines the conflicts between friendship and love. This production, with Tyler Butterworth and John Hudson in the title roles, revels in the moral twists and turns undergone in the contests of wit, disguises of lovers, tragic betrayals, dangerous outlaws and comic interludes.

The Comedy Of Errors

"O villain, thou hast stol'n both mine office and my name!
The one ne’er got me credit, the other mickle blame.
"

The arrival and arrest of Egeon in Ephesus brings a family crisis into focus. For elsewhere in the city, his son Antipholus and his slave Dromio are seeking their respective twins – lost to them 25 years earlier, in a shipwreck. While mistaken identities mark their progress around the city, Egeon has just 24-hours to find the thousand-mark ransom needed to save his life...

Roger Daltrey and Michael Kitchen star in an exhilarating production of one of Shakespeare’s most vibrant and sparkling comedies. As the play unfolds, he sends his characters through a tale of mistaken identity, assumed personas, hilarious machinations and whimsical family relationships – with the audience always one step ahead.

Antony & Cleopatra

"Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety; other women
Cloy the appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies
"

Mark Antony, one of three rulers of the Roman Empire, commands the eastern Mediterranean. Despite his infatuation with Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, he has to return to Rome. As his fellow ruler Octavius schemes, Mark Antony rejoins Cleopatra and driven by blind passion, they confront the mighty empire.

Themes of ambition, power, love, friendship and deception – laced with a fascinating portrait of self-destructive passion – fuel Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy. In this production Jane Lapotaire is gripping in the sensual role of Cleopatra, while Colin Blakely takes the part of love-tortured Mark Antony.

Titus Andronicus

"Ten thousand worse than ever yet I did
Would I perform, if I might have my will.
If one good deed in all my life I did,
I do repent it from my very soul.
"

Having subdued the Goths, conquering hero Titus Andronicus returns to Rome to bury his sons, with Gothic Queen Tamora and her retinue as captives. Titus sacrifices Tamora’s eldest son to the gods and helps Saturninus become the new Roman emperor. But when Saturninus chooses Tamora as his wife, an unstoppable wave of bloody revenge is unleashed...

Black humour and revenge mark a production where numerous characters face a bloody and horrific death. Shakespeare’s revenge tragedy is an intense, primal work with passages of great poetry. As the excesses and ambiguities of family relationships and the abuse of power take hold, Trevor Peacock, in the lead role, delivers a dominating and moving performance.

Twelfth Night

"If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
"

Viola and Sebastion are identical twins, separated by a shipwreck. Landing in Illyria, Viola disguises herself as her brother and goes into the service of the Duke Orsino. When the Duke sends her to help him woo the Lady Olivia, the obstacles of unrequited love, self-deceit and mistaken identify soon lead an assortment of lovers on a merry dance.

Perhaps the most popular of Shakespeare’s comedies Twelfth Night considers the nature of love; true love, self-love and friendship. This star filled production won great acclaim for its energy and for its inclusion of the play's often overlooked darker elements.

King John

"Bell, book, and candle shall not drive me back,
When gold and silver becks me to come on!
"

The reign of England’s King John is threatened by Philip of France who demands that John’s nephew Arthur be placed on the throne. Pragmatic and decisive, King John moves to placate the French, but there are others who seek to dispute his authority.

With a magnificent performance by Leonard Rossiter as King John and superb supporting roles by John Thaw and Claire Bloom, this production illuminates the themes of legitimacy and loyalty that run through Shakespeare’s powerful history play.

All's Well That Ends Well

"Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie
Which we ascribe to heaven. The fated sky
Gives us free scope, only doth backward pull
Our slow designs when we ourselves are dull.
"

When Helena administers a cure to the gravely ill King of France, he offers her a choice of husband. Helena chooses Bertram, the Count of Rousillon. He insists that he will never be her "true" husband unless she wears his family ring and becomes pregnant with his child. Following him to Florence, Helena embarks upon a plan that will lead her to claim her rightful spouse.

All’s Well That Ends Well won both BAFTA and RTS Awards and was considered one of the best of the BBC Shakespeare series. Director Elijah Moshinsky was said to have magnificently framed the scenes and highlighted the domestic nature of the play. The cast, particularly Celia Johnson as the Countess and Ian Charleson as an angry, sullen Bertram, also received great acclaim.

Much Ado About Nothing

"Friendship is constant in all other things
Save in the office and affairs of love:
Therefore all hearts in love use their own tongues;
Let every eye negotiate for itself
And trust no agent.
"

When homecoming warriors Claudio and Benedick turn their attentions to romance, friends, brothers and lovers are all soon found wanting. Claudio quickly becomes engaged to Hero, while Benedick quips and quarrels his way into her cousin Beatrice’s heart. But when Claudio is tricked into jilting his fiancée, Benedick is forced to choose between friendship and love...

This spirited production of the first of Shakespeare’s three great romantic comedies featured some of the favourite names of British television, Robert Lindsay and Cherie Lunghi perfectly enact the sparring wit of Benedick and Beatrice, and in Dogberry and Vesper – two of Shakespeare’s best-loved clowns they are perfectly supported by Michael Elphick and Clive Dunn.

The Merchant Of Venice

"If you prick us do we not bleed?
If you tickle us do we not laugh?
If you poison us do we not die?
And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
"

Antonio’s best friend, Bassanio, is in love with Portia, a wise and wealthy heiress, and needs three thousand ducats to press his suit. With Antonio’s wealth tied up in ships at sea, he approaches Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, who agrees to lend the money under the provision that Antonio shall forfeit a pound of his flesh if the debt is unpaid. When Antonio’s ships become wrecked, Shylock, the maligned Jew, calls for the debt to be settled.

The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare’s most famous comedies, celebrated for its captivating villain, Shylock. In a production full of contrasts and ambiguities, Warren Mitchell plays the moneylender with a finely balanced combination of wickedness and pathos – leaving the audience to decide whether he is a villain, a buffoon or a tragic hero?

Troilus And Cressida

"Lechery, lechery; still, wars and lechery; nothing else holds fashion: a burning devil take them!"

The bitter Trojan War drags on, the Greeks blame Achilles’ apathy for low morale, while Troy’s hero Hector challenges one of the enemy to a personal duel. And after her father exchanges Cressida for a Trojan prisoner, the war becomes personal for her distraught lover Troilus.

Jonathan Miller pitches his acclaimed production of this part-history, part-tragedy between satire and savage farce, highlighting Shakespeare’s cynical standpoint where love is mocked and heroism made absurd.

The Winter's Tale

"The silence often of pure innocence
Persuades when speaking fails.
"

Leontes, King of Sicilia becomes convinced that his wife, Hermione, is guilty of adultery with his friend Polixenes, the King of Bohemia. He sends his wife to prison and tries to kill his friend – setting in motion a train of tragic consequences.

This stylised production of one of Shakespeare’s most haunting and enigmatic late works revels in its intense conflicts. An excellent cast (including Jeremy Kemp as a magnificent Leontes) highlight the tragic intensity and comic grace of the play.

Henry VI (Part One)

"Assign'd am I to be the English scourge,
The night the siege assuredly I'll raise;
Expect Saint Martin's summer, halcyon days,
Since I have entered into these wars
."

As the nation mourns the death of King Henry V, news reaches England of military setbacks in France. After the release of their General, Lord Talbot, the English reclaim lost ground but the appearance of a mystic warrior woman, Joan of Arc inspires the French. Meanwhile, at Henry's court, feuds begin between the lords of the white and red roses...

The first part in the most complete television version of the trilogy, this stylised production recreates Henry's early days as King. Here Oliver Bayldon's set, a children's adventure playground decaying through the trilogy, reflects the disintegrating state of England.

Henry VI (Part Two)

"What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted!
Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just,
And he but naked, though locked up in steel,
Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted."

As Henry's marriage to Margaret cedes the last of his father's French gains, the presence of a weak king encourages dissent. Feuds rage between Gloucester and Beaufort and between York's faction and the other lords until York sets up Jack Cade to lead a popular revolt.

This "repertory cast" performance continues Shakespeare's ambitious "War OF The Roses" trilogy. By using actors in multiple roles, director Jane Howell highlights the similarities and contrasts between various characters throughout the story.

Henry VI (Part Three)

"And many strokes though with a little axe,
Hew down and fell the hardest-timbered oak."

When defeat at St. Albans forces Henry to cede succession to the House Of York, an infuriated Queen Margaret fights on, determined her son will be the next King. But with the Duke Of York's death in battle, the future of the throne is once again thrown into question.

Shakespeare's final "War Of The Roses" instalment continues the descent of an ordered World into chaos. Outstanding amongst the play's characters are the ruthless Margaret (brilliantly played by Julia Foster) and the increasingly alienated and enraged anti-hero Richard Of Gloucester (Ron Cook).

Pericles Prince Of Tyre

"..I see that Time’s the king of men,
He’s both their parent, and he is their grave,
And gives them what he will, not what they crave."

When Pericles discovers the terrible answer to King Antiochus’ riddle, he flees for his life. In self-exile from Tyre he encounters famine, shipwreck, love and fatherhood, but in his desire to return home, he once again jeopardises his life and those he loves.

It is probable that George Wilkins wrote the first nine scenes of this romance, with Shakespeare making additions and writing the remaining thirteen. In this production, a great cast make light of the play’s traditional staging problems and craft a compelling performance.

Henry VIII

"Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies."

Henry is a proud monarch who flies in the face of the church in seeking to divorce Queen Katherine and marry Anne Bullen. As Cardinal Wolsey, the powerful Lord Chancellor of England, attempts to bend Rome to the King’s wishes, the court reverberates with political intrigue and accusations of treachery.

The verbal jousting of Timothy West and Claire Bloom (as Cardinal Wolsey and Katherine of Aragon) illuminates this rare production of the near-full text of one of Shakespeare’s last plays. Shot entirely on location in English castles and stately homes, it was cited by the Shakespeare Association of America as the best of the BBC series.

Coriolanus

"Like to a lonely dragon that his fen
Makes fear’d and talk’d of more than seen, your son,
Will exceed the common, or be caught
With cautelous baits and practice."

Caius Martius, renamed Coriolanus after his victorious attack on the city of Corioli, returns to Rome to become its joint head of state. A warrior and not a politician, Coriolanus finds his pride and arrogance turning the citizens against him. As he seeks to wreak his anger on the city, it is left to his mother, Volumnia, to prevent a bloody battle.

Coriolanus is a compelling study of family, loyalty, war and politics. Of this production the Daily Telegraph wrote: "The silver-haired and silver tongued commands of Irene Worth’s Volumnia, the sinewy Aufidius of Mike Gwilym and the bluff Menenius of Joss Ackland all helped worthily to reflect back the towering emotion of Mr Howard’s Coriolanus."

Timon Of Athens

"Who would be so mock’d with glory, or to live
But in a dream of friendship?
To have his pomp and all what state compounds
But only painted, like his varnish’d friends?"

Timon is a most generous man, helping out citizens in need and hosting lavish feasts for his friends. But when they discover his munificence has left him deep in debt, the flatterers and hangers-on soon spurn him. Disillusioned and angry he leaves Athens for the wilderness, where a chance discovery reverses his fortunes.

In his most cynical work, Shakespeare explores the nature of money, its virtues and vices. In this production Jonathan Pryce gives an astonishing and acclaimed performance as Timon and is backed by an impressive cast under masterly direction.

Henry IV (Part One)

"By heaven, methinks it were an easy leap
To pluck bright honour from the pale-faced moon,
Or dive into the bottom of the deep,
Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,
And pluck up drowned honour by the locks.
"

These are troubled times for King Henry. His son, Prince Henry acts more like a rogue than royalty, keeping the company of drunken highway robber Falstaff and other shady characters. Meanwhile, from the north come rumours of a rebellion led by the son of the Percy family, the valiant Hotspur.

One of Shakespeare's most celebrated dramatic achievements, this play mixes history and comedy effortlessly, moving from scenes of royalty to rough drinking dens with ease. This production matches its superb characters with great actors particularly evident in Anthony Quayle's magnificent Falstaff.

Henry IV (Part Two)

"O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
"

Prince Harry's father figures are ageing. While the King frets about the Prince's lifestyle, Falstaff continues to make merry. But there are serious matters afoot. Prince John has to lead the King's army against an uprising and Hal is forces to reassess his attitude to responsibility as his father grows increasingly sick.

Retaining the same cast and director as Part One, this production assuredly charts the transformation of the Prince. It reflects the play's darker and more intimate focus, but contrasts it with colourful scenes from Falstaff's Eastcheap as well as the bucolic Gloucestershire of Shallow and Silence.

 


 

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