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Being Shakespeare [DVD]

Simon Callow , John Wyver , Illuminations Television Ltd.    Exempt   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: 16.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Simon Callow
  • Directors: John Wyver, Illuminations Television Ltd.
  • Format: PAL, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Illuminations TV Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 8 Mar 2012
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,667 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Simon Callow stars in this one-man show which takes a look at the life and career of renowned English playwright William Shakespeare. Written by Jonathan Bate, the play's structure was inspired by the 'Seven Ages of Man' speech from 'As You Like It', portraying Shakespeare's life from beginning to end and combining his story with extracts from many of his works such as 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Hamlet', 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', 'King Lear' and 'The Tempest'.

Product Description

Featuring a tour de force performance from Simon Callow, Being Shakespeare is a one-man show about the life and work of the world's greatest playwright. Written by the renowned scholar Jonathan Bate, and taking its cue from Jacques' famous 'Seven Ages of Man' speech in As You Like It, the drama traces Shakespeare's life from his birth in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564 to his burial there fifty-two years later. Weaving together this story with extracts from many of Shakespeare's most famous plays, Simon Callow presents a vivid and very human portrait of the man and of the Elizabethan world in which he lived. Recorded before an audience during the play's triumphant London run, Being Shakespeare is both a wonderful introduction to the author and a richly nuanced, funny and fascinating study for those who already love his plays. DVD extras include an exclusive interview with Simon Callow and performances of a personal selection of Shakespeare's Sonnets. Plays featured in Being Shakespeare: As You Like It The Winter's Tale King John The Merry Wives of Windsor Julius Caesar Venus and Adonis (poem) Romeo and Juliet Two Gentlemen of Verona The Comedy of Errors Doctor Faustus (play by Christopher Marlowe) King Henry VI, part 1 Hamlet Sonnet 18 Henry V Henry IV, part 1 A Midsummer Night's Dream Macbeth Richard II King Lear Henry IV, part 2 Troilus and Cressida The Tempest Sir Thomas More

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To Buy or not to Buy? Buy! 19 Mar 2012
A copy of this DVD should be placed alongside the Gideon Bible in every hotel room within ten miles of Stratford Upon Avon. For this inspired collaboration by actor Simon Callow and Shakespeare expert Jonathan Bate will instantly and entertainingly provide every ounce of background information any visitor could require; greatly enhancing their visit with wonderful insights into the subject's world.

A cardboard crown, a wooden sword, a globe, four wooden school chairs and a square of light are all Simon Callow needs to weave ninety minutes of theatrical magic.

This is the story of William Shakespeare. Lines from thirty two of his most famous characters illustrate their creator's emotions as we progress through his `seven ages' of life (itself a concept in his "As You Like It").

Alongside the play extracts, own modern everyday language (peppered with topical references - one to a `property portfolio' causing particular amusement among the on screen audience) keep the production accessible and the whole moving at smart pace.

It's always a pleasure to hear Shakespeare spoken by the very best actors, but here the particular joy is having those beautiful words set in context against each period of the author's life.

The highest highlights of the enthralling ninety minutes are an hilarious `school room' sequence as the young Snail learns to play with Latin words and a one-man `balcony scene' as he learns to play with girls... Both are performed with the gentlest touch, and a command of the stage that rather make you glad this is a DVD - so that you can rewind and savour the scenes again and again.

This whole is filmed "as live," with the audience reaction and even a few vocal hesitations left in.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 9 Aug 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As you would expect, this is a superb DVD. Callow is engaging and brings Shakespeare to life. A wonderful watch for luvvies of the bard.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 9 Jun 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This was a very good companion to the MOOC, 'Shakespeare and his world', fronted by Jonathan Bate who wrote the script for this monologue. It was excellently performed by Simon Callow and for anyone considering doing the on-line course the DVD is an entertaining and informative introduction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic dvd 27 May 2014
By pippa
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A brilliant addition to anyone's dvd collection. Simon Callow is mesmerising , I will watch this over and over. Fantastic
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a one-man-show! 2 May 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
An excellent piece - Simon Callow really is incredible! I liked him in other movies, but this is something different. The man Shakespeare comes to life.
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