Top positive review
17 people found this helpful
A great Shakespeare comedy and the best version I've ever seen of it
on 27 February 2009
For me this production is simply perfect. I can't fault a single moment but also I simply love this story anyway. Like many people I think, I'm appalled by Claudio's appalling behaviour and enthralled by Beatrice and Benedict's edgy romance.
Especially recommended - Robert Lindsay, a great favourite of mine. I had originally seen him as Citizen Smith, oh years ago. In this Beeb series he has several outings, improving all the time and showing what a great actor he is. I was thrilled to see him as Benedict. I had earlier enjoyed the DVD of Branagh's production of this play but it pales besides the Beeb's - partly I think because Lindsay is better as Benedict even than Branagh. Branagh has lots of charm but the whole production is a little too frothy and dazzling. The Beeb's version, doubtless restrained by costs but perhaps fortunately, comes over as more realistic. I didn't feel for Branagh's Benedict at all. I feel for Lindsay's because his portrayal is I think just as he was himself as the actor - finding his way and succeeding so well, a little hesitant, uncertain what to do about Beatrice, just as Benedict surely should be after years of assuring himself he wasn't in love with her, instead of Branagh's just too starry and bright Benedict. Branagh can put over the uncertainty too, but it was just acting, whilst with Lindsay it struck true.
Well, OK, I'm biased, I would prefer Robert Lindsay to Branagh in anything anyway... I've a copy of each version, both well worth having.
As for the BBC productions in general, I bought three individually including this one, my favourites, then I couldn't bear it any more and bought the whole lot. Awesome, a treasured possession.