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William Shakespeare - The Winter's Tale - Complete Edition [1998] [DVD]

3.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

Price: £19.01 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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  • William Shakespeare - The Winter's Tale - Complete Edition [1998] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Anthony Sher, Emily Bruni, Alexandra Gillbreath
  • Directors: Robin Lough, Gregory Doran
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Heritage Theatre Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Feb. 2005
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00079ZB9E
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,376 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

The RSC's 1998/99 production of THE WINTER'S TALE, performed at the Barbican Theatre, London, is presented here for the first time in a complete and un-edited edition. This landmark production was hailed by critics and played to packed houses both in Stratford and London.

Review

'Greg Doran's TRIUMPHANT production' --The Sunday Telegraph

A MASTERFUL version of one of the very greatest plays not to be missed. Sher's Leontes is a performance of overwhelming psychotic intensity. THRILLING. --Daily Mail

One of Sher's most intense, most fully achieved performances...its greatest subtly lies in portraying the side of Leontes that Leontes doesn't know. MAGNIFICENT...Doran and Jones BRILLIANT imagination. --The Guardian

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
In 1998/99 The Royal Shakespeare Company presented The Winter's Tale directed by Greg Doran and starring the extraordinary Antony Sher. Having watched this DVD I really wish that I had seen it in the theatre, but the DVD is not a recording of a full performance, nor an 'edited for DVD' production, it is a documentary including lengthy excerpts from the stage production. I expected to watch the play.
For students studying the play, or people like me who love the Bard's works and want to know more about them, this is fascinating. The director and leading players talk about the play and how they approached this production. Each interview leads into part of a scene from the play. The whole amounts to a severely edited version of the play interspersed with interesting people describing the bits cut, and why they so love the play.
I first saw The Winter's Tale at Shakespeare's Globe and unlike most other plays I've seen there, I wasn't impressed. Seeing this DVD changed my mind, and made me want to see a full production again. A subsequent BBC Radio production confirmed that it is one of Shakespeare's greatest.
I might have bought this DVD if I had known what it was, but I was looking for a performance of "The Winter's Tale", and this isn't it.
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This is a movie of a wonderful stage production, filmed live in the theatre. As such, it lacks the advantages of each medium. The intimacy of a live show is missing, whilst the tricks of the camera and the embellishments to a simple stage set that can be easily achieved on film are similarly absent. The sound of the actors' footsteps on the wooden stage are a constant reminder of this device, but it comes over as a tiresome distraction. This is a pity, since the production is good, and the actors bring the text to life in a way that needs little external context. In particular, Anthony's Sher's performance as Leontes is a stunningly brilliant portrayal of the split personality, whose joy, fury, torment and contrition are all powerfully real. Alexandra Gilbreath's Hermione is more one-dimensional, and her diction is a little off putting, but the character itself is little more than a dramatic foil for Leontes and Paulina to play out their moral conflict. Estelle Kohler portrays Paulina as a haughty English governess. At first I found her to come over as too stridently self-righteous, but gradually she became convincing. The pastoral scenes and the carefree romance between Perdita (Emily Bruni) and Florizel (Ryan McCluskey) add warmth to this chilly morality play. The Winter's Tale contains two dramatic scenes that are famously verging on the impossible to stage without risking giggles from the audience at just the wrong moment (Antigonus' exit, pursued by a bear, and the coming to life of the statue of Hermione). This production avoids the guffaws, though the cinematic possibilities of both scenes remain unexplored. On balance, it's worth seeing this on film, but it is a rather poor substitute for the real thing.
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There are no subtitles and I cannot hear without them as I have a hearing deficit. It was not possible to establish whether or not it had them beforehand.
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This is what Shakespeare should be like. Time stands still with performances like these.
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Not much to recommend. Too many anticipated intonations and stresses in the language that one might expect. (Please excuse the omission of my acute accent on cliche - can't be bothered to find it). A complete distraction really from the experience that it should be). A museum piece, needing a new stuffing.
Foot stamping is also too distractive.
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