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Shakespeare's Sonnets [DVD]

David Tennant , Patrick Stewart , John Wyver    Exempt   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: 10.83 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Shakespeare's Sonnets [DVD] + The Hollow Crown - TV Mini Series [DVD] + Hamlet [DVD] [2009]
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Product details

  • Actors: David Tennant, Patrick Stewart, Fiona Shaw, Dominic West, Stephen Fry
  • Directors: John Wyver
  • Writers: William Shakespeare
  • Format: PAL, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Illuminations
  • DVD Release Date: 5 July 2012
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008COWJ3W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,970 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Released alongside a spectacular edition of Shakespeare's Sonnets for the Apple iPad, this beautifully produced DVD features specially filmed performances of all 154 Sonnets by a stellar cast of actors including, Fiona Shaw, Sir Patrick Stewart and David Tennant. William Shakespeare's Sonnets are among the most beautiful and most fascinating poems ever written. All of the poems, together with their enigmatic Dedication, are featured in readings by a star-studded cast. A full-colour accompanying booklet features each actor, a list of their Sonnets and a short biobraphy. Other contributors include actors Simon Callow, Simon Russell Beale, Kim Cattrall, Dominic West and Stephen Fry, as well as prominent experts on Shakespeare such as Professor James Shapiro and voice coach Cicely Berry. The mysteries and marvels of Shakespeare's Sonnets are revealed as never before in these vivid, compelling and accessible performances. Actors featured in Shakespeare's Sonnets: Bruce Alexander, Sam Alexander, Nonzo Anosie, Annette Badland, Edward Bennett, Cicely Berry Tilly Blackwood, David Calder, Simon Callow, Kim Cattrall, Ben Crystal, Noma Dumezweni, Katherine Duncan-Jones, Mark Ebulue, Adetomiwa Edun, Kate Fleetwood, Oliver Ford Davies, Polly Frame, Stephen Fry, John Heffernan, Tunji Kasim, Simon Manyonda, Niamh McGrady, Andrew Motion, Ruth Negga, Don Paterson, Sian Philips, Emily Plumtree, Prasanna Puwanarajah, Diana Quick, Jemma Redgrave, Simon Russell Beale, Kerry Shale, Jim Shapiro Fiona Shaw, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Sir Patrick Stewart, David Tennant, Harriet Walter, Dominic West, and Henry Woudhuysen.

Product Description

Released alongside a spectacular edition of Shakespeare's Sonnets for the Apple iPad, this beautifully produced DVD features specially filmed performances of all 154 Sonnets by a stellar cast of actors including, Fiona Shaw, Sir Patrick Stewart and David Tennant. William Shakespeare's Sonnets are among the most beautiful and most fascinating poems ever written. All of the poems, together with their enigmatic Dedication, are featured in readings by a star-studded cast. A full-colour accompanying booklet features each actor, a list of their Sonnets and a short biobraphy. Other contributors include actors Simon Callow, Simon Russell Beale, Kim Cattrall, Dominic West and Stephen Fry, as well as prominent experts on Shakespeare such as Professor James Shapiro and voice coach Cicely Berry. The mysteries and marvels of Shakespeare's Sonnets are revealed as never before in these vivid, compelling and accessible performances. Actors featured in Shakespeare's Sonnets Bruce Alexander Sam Alexander Nonzo Anosie Annette Badland Edward Bennett Cicely Berry Tilly Blackwood David Calder Simon Callow Kim Cattrall Ben Crystal Noma Dumezweni Katherine Duncan-Jones Mark Ebulue Adetomiwa Edun Kate Fleetwood Oliver Ford Davies Polly Frame Stephen Fry John Heffernan Tunji Kasim Simon Manyonda Niamh McGrady Andrew Motion Ruth Negga Don Paterson Sian Philips Emily Plumtree Prasanna Puwanarajah Diana Quick Jemma Redgrave Simon Russell Beale Kerry Shale Jim Shapiro Fiona Shaw Nathan Stewart-Jarrett Sir Patrick Stewart David Tennant Harriet Walter Dominic West Henry Woudhuysen


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A theatre on your bookshelf 6 Sep 2012
Format:DVD
This is like having a cast `producers can only dream of' sit on your bookshelf, ready and willing to recite beautiful verse at your whim.

For those like myself who know little of the sonnets beyond comparing a loved one to a summer's day, this disc is something of a revelation.

It's easy to see how they fit with the Bard's stage works. 94, recited by Polly Frame is like something from the Scottish Play, 154 a `Director's Cut DVD Extra' from "A Midsummer Night's Dream," for example.

Even clearer is the modern day relevance of it all, as a dishevelled Stephen Fry demonstrates that 130 was a precursor to Les Dawson and all other irreverent `partner' jokes; while 50, in the hands of Simon Callow, is close to "Fifty Shades of Grey."

There's wisdom: 70 being as good as "The Merchant of Venice" for legal advice, 29 and 30 on the importance of reputation, 148 cautioning the exercising of judgement; and of course plenty of talk about love. From the lachrymose 145's touching outpouring from Jo Stone-Fewings, to happier commentary - 91 is worth studying as a declaration par excellence.

One principal enjoyment is that these pieces are not just delivered by actors. Best of all is Cicely Berry, Director of Voice and Text with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her "Th'expense of spirit is a waste of shame" should be studied closely by anybody taking to the stage, whether with Shakespearian or modern text.

There's regional UK accents galore, with a fiery Niamh McGrady, mellow Tunji Kasim and of course notable David Tennant among them. From the USA, Kim Cattrall and James Shapiro have accents which (I seem to recall) may be even more authentic with the period than the measured perfection of Patrick Stewart or Dominic West.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful DVD 3 Jan 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This DVD contains the complete sonnets by Shakespeare. You can easily select by narrator or by sonnet. A short biography of each actor is included on the DVD and in an accompanying booklet. Narrators include Fiona Shaw,(5) Simon Callow,(3) Stephen Fry (1), Andrew Motion (2) Sian Phillips (4)Patrick Stewart (6) David Tennant (4) amongst others.
I leave the DVD in the player and watch them intermittently. Strongly recommend.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Shakespeare sonnets 22 Nov 2012
Format:DVD
This is an enthralling disc. I've been sitting for weeks book in hand going through the entire list. There are so many wonderful performances and all so different from each other.For me Simon Callow is by far the best. But there's also Simon Russell Beale, Fiona Shaw , and some still unknown brilliant young actors. There are, however, some lemons. All the non-actors (Scholars, poets) are uniformly dreadful.But that's a small quibble. There is enough beauty here for one to go back to again and again.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shall i compare thee to another book of poems? 6 Jan 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am a fan of Shakespeare so i could not resist this DVD. There is a good selection of very fine actors to be found and all the sonnets are covered. However not all the sonnets are recited as well as they could be.
Some are being recited from memory, these ones are excellant.
Others, as you will notice by watching the actors eyes, are being read from a screen. These are not always presented as they should be.
But it is only a small gripe. Overall i am very happy with the presentation.
The one thing i am unhappy with is that the navigation around the DVD is not very good. I may be able to go to sonnet 26 and play it but to play sonnet 27 i then have to go through the menu and select that. I can't just select 26 and leave it to play on.
Still, i do recommend this DVD. It may only be a group of actors reciting poetry but i found it relaxing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Special Shakespeare 13 Dec 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Excellent performances by a distinguished collection of actors. Fresh insights int0 what is not always easy verse. Select familiar sonnets fi rst.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!! 20 Dec 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Bard's most beautiful poetry given wonderful readings. I have long had a passion for Shakespeare's plays but only with this DVD have I become familiar with the Sonnets, here given readings that help immeasurably to convey meaning to words that are not always clear on the page.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun but needs subtitles 1 May 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This really does need the text if we are to follow it properly. My mother is a bit hard of hearing and it was a waste of time for her, but I know she would really have enjoyed it if she could follow the text.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars To buy or not to buy, that IS the question! 9 May 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
In spite of a review I had read, I bought the DVD and have to agree that it is very disappointing. With a few exceptions - Patrick Stewart, Simon Callow, and one or two others, the "readers" of the sonnets make them sound dull and boring. Almost as bad as those we had to read at school which put you off Shakespeare. Even the romantic ones come across as flat and without the joy that Shakespeare wrote. If you love poetry you are better to buy a copy of the sonnets and read them yourself, rather than waste your money on this DVD. Also the backgrounds were very plain and uninteresting. Perhaps they should have had backdrops of Stratford upon Avon or Stratford, E.London - the Globe, or the Swan theatres - to give a feeling of Shakespeare. The Avon with swans would also have added something more romantic to this production. Just my opinion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Sonnets
Absolutely love hearing the Actors as they perform the Sonnets

It is a good introduction to Shakespeare.

Very good purchase and recommended
Published 8 days ago by Helen
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare's Sonnets
Excellent variety of speakers who bring these Sonnets to life from the written page - especially true if you are coming to the end of the Open University Shakespeare: Text &... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Rebecca Heal
5.0 out of 5 stars every thing in your hand if you bi lave on God
Not seen Sonnests, maybe not released yet. Yes saw romeo and jurliet with decaprio so got the book but was jibbrish words and had changed lots from the film :-(.
Published 7 months ago by Professor Necessiter
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful interpretations
Whether it's a sonnet you already know or one less familiar, the particular reader fom this range is likely to offer you a new insight.
Published 10 months ago by Sognatrice
5.0 out of 5 stars I adored this DVD
I loved the excitement of waiting to see who would appear next. The content is of course sublime and there were very few speakers who did not deliver beautifully. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Josephine Perth
5.0 out of 5 stars Present for my husband
Husband teaches English, and listens to this for pleasure! He assures me it's very good & he can use it at work.
Published 12 months ago by Ellen Gray
1.0 out of 5 stars In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes
While this series of recorded readings is perhaps less awkward as part of the multimedia experience of the iPad Sonnets (I don't own an iPad so I have no way of knowing), it simply... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Glovely
5.0 out of 5 stars The sonnets anew
This is simply wonderful performance by all concerned. David Tennant is always impressive. Many of the other actors bring a colour and rythm to this work which transcend time.
Published 16 months ago by A. Roberts
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