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Will Shakespeare - The Complete Series [DVD] [1978]


Price: £10.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
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£10.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Will Shakespeare - The Complete Series [DVD] [1978] + In Search of Shakespeare [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Tim Curry, Paul Freeman, Nicholas Clay, John Normington, Ron Cook
  • Directors: Mark Cullingham, Robert Knights
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 4 May 2009
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001LOTXZW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,344 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Tim Curry plays the Bard in this six-part dramatised account, written by John Mortimer, that follows the years Shakespeare spent in London. With each episode centred around the creation of one of his plays, historical facts and modern analysis are combined to explain how major events in Shakespeare's life may have come to shape his work. Episodes comprise: 'Dead Shepherd', 'Alms for Oblivion', 'Of Comfort and Despair', 'The Loved Boy', 'Rebellion's Masterpiece' and 'The Living Record'.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Tue Sorensen on 14 Oct 2010
Format: DVD
Although there are of course the expected blemishes, the newly DVD-released "Will Shakespeare" series turned out to be everything I hoped it would be. John Mortimer writes a script worthy of a Tom Stoppard, addressing myriads of details from Shakespeare scholarship and the historical debates surrounding it. Perhaps this series is only for those with a really deep interest in Shakespeare - most others will probably find it boring. But I belong to its narrow target audience, and for me it is just what the Bard ordered. We got plenty of interesting (if speculative) insights into theater life, with close-up focuses on the entire troupe of players.

But, no, the series isn't perfect. We don't really get under Shakespeare's skin; we don't see much of his actual working process, or why he wrote such intricate and multi-layered poetry. The man himself, in this series, seems strangely unenthusiastic, always rather melancholic and distant. Even his relationships with Southampton and the dark lady don't truly seem to touch him. We never feel that this matters to him, and therefore we are never quite convinced that those people and experiences really were the source of his poetry. Of course, even if this were convincingly portrayed, I'd still not believe it, because I think the whole Southampton thing is bunk. Sure, Shakespeare had Southampton as a patron for a while, but the sonnet addressees do not represent real people; they talk about poetic constructs which extend infinitely farther than to the details of Shakespeare personal life. Shakespeare didn't bother with that kind of details; that kind of small-talk. He wrote about formidable events of the human condition; about the roles of history and art, delving deeply into the most hidden nature of reason and emotion and the human psyche.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Cicero on 5 Jun 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A terrific romp!

An energetic fusion of "Blackadder" and "Poldark". I enjoyed this so much that I watched all six episodes in one sitting. Shakespeare-phobes need not panic - all the dialogue is in modern English. Nicholas Clay steals the production (from a stellar cast) as the outrageous Earl of Southampton. Tim Curry is also excellent. He portrays the title character beautifully from enthusiastic and naive youth to cynical (and wiser) older man. All this is set against the backdrop of the theatre's fierce fight to survive against other Elizabethan "entertainments" such as public executions, bear-baiting and cock-fighting.

And yes, I even found myself laughing at an excerpt from a Shakespeare comedy!

A lovely intermingling of scenes from the plays and contemporary events. My only criticisms - I wish it had gone on longer and had included more scenes from more plays!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A solid production of the period. The acting is faultless and the casting works magnificently; though Tim Curry's lack of experience shows as Shakespeare ages, and a look of creeping incomprehension about his character takes over Curry's face. He is great as the ingénue.
You notice the music , which is based on Elizabethan originals gingered up a bit - quite an innovation at the time.
There is little or no sex - though we do see Shakespeare in bed with his patron - I guess they were just sleeping together for warmth!
This is not one of John Mortimer's great triumphs, and is perhaps something of a poisoned chalice. Writing a life story of the world's greatest playwright and word-master takes a bit more than Mortimer had in him at the time. He picks some very dull moments to dramatise, and the passion goes out of the series half-way through. Shakespeare's plays show that his passion didn't leave him - unless when he returned to Stratford.
It is a brave attempt to do the impossible. Stick to Shakespeare in Love for drama and this if you want food for thought.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By gilda waugh on 2 July 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Love it, some really good performances from some brilliant actors. Patience Collier is stunning as the elderly Elizabeth 1. The costumes are stunning.
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Format: DVD
It's a fact that very little is truly known about William Shakespeare! In which case, this series is about as close to the truth as anyone is going to get. Apart from the Bards apparent 10 year stint in the North of England, most of the story runs along the same lines as the bbc programme 'IN SEARCH OF SHAKESPEARE' which includes the tedious voice its presenter, Michael Wood. However this dvd in which Tim curry takes the lead role is both excellent and highly recommended
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