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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
This review is from: Being Shakespeare [DVD] (DVD)
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. If there is a single flaw, it is that the `interval' is not defined sufficient to make the sublime `re-entry' line sing for the home viewer quite as amusingly as it could. The fact that this single flaw is noticeable can be taken, of course, as an indicator of just what a singularly outstanding release this disc is.

Twenty minutes of extras - a short but fascinating insight into the creative process of this piece, plus three sonnets performed by Callow prolong the enjoyment.

I can only end by saying that this is the perfect souvenir for those who have seen the play `live,' a `must have' purchase for any theatre lover and the perfect introduction to England's most famous writer for absolutely everybody.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 9 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Being Shakespeare [DVD] (DVD)
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
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This review is from: Being Shakespeare [DVD] (DVD)
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
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This review is from: Being Shakespeare [DVD] (DVD)
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
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This review is from: Being Shakespeare [DVD] (DVD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Being Shakespeare., 16 April 2014
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This review is from: Being Shakespeare [DVD] (DVD)
Another brilliant performance from a Master of the Arts.
He brings it to life, and no student of the Acting world should be without it.
FJTHOMAS.Luton
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best review of Shakespeare's life out there - superb, 21 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Being Shakespeare [DVD] (DVD)
I saw Simon Callow in the original one man stage show and was knocked out. The depth of knowledge, the stories I've never heard before, the explanations for Shakespeare's choice of language.... wonderful.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My wife's Xmas present, 6 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Being Shakespeare [DVD] (DVD)
Having watched this on Sky before it became well known we both found it a brilliant performance - and have given a copy to our school teacher daughter
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0 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Good Performance. Has a Great Memory. The Bard's Greatest Hits., 27 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Being Shakespeare [DVD] (DVD)
Collect Shakespeare in multi-media. Have, must have the largest collection of the Bard of Earth. Many great universities list this and that William Shakespeare. And they have nothing in their coffers other than a listing.

My collection is greater than Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Ontario, Boston, Massachusetts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Illinois, Los Angeles, California public libraries combined. And I have without a doubt more than, much more than the New York City, New York Public Library.

So there!
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Being Shakespeare [DVD]
Being Shakespeare [DVD] by Illuminations Television Ltd. (DVD - 2012)
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