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The Winter's Tale - BBC Shakespeare Collection 
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In 1978, the BBC set itself the task of filming all of William Shakespeare's plays for television. The resulting productions, renowned for their loyalty to the text, utilised the best theatrical and television directors and brought highly praised performances from leading contemporary actors - THE WINTER'S TALE  Leontes, King of Sicilia becomes convinced that his wife, Hermione, is guitly of adultery with his friend Polixenes, the King of Bohemia. He sends his wife to prison and tries to kill his friend - setting in motion a trin of tragic consequences. This stylised production of one of Shakespeare's most haunting and enigmatic late works revels in its intense conlicts. An excellent cast (including Jeremy Kemp as a magnificent Leontes) highlight the tragic intensity and comic grace of the play.
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Top Customer Reviews
It may not seem so at first. But there are many subtle messages being brought over to you the viewer. Basically Leontes becomes suspicous of his wife fidelity. Because of this he orders the death of his friend Polixenes but the courtier asked to do the deed can not bring himself to do as ordered. Leontes then has his wife imprisoned and so starts a tragic train of events.
This is a very fine play, there are laughs, there is intrigue and there are tears.
Although the end is predictable there is a surprise too. If you want Shakespeare at his best but dont want a really heavy play then try this. I certainly recommend it.
This version of The Winters Tale runs to almost three hours, and therefore is really only for true fans of the Bard. As a story, the first half is intense and psychological, a tale of jealousy and revenge, like Macbeth or Othello, though it failed to grip me like either of those. The staging all through is very minimalist, and most of this first half consists of actors talking on an almost bare set. Jeremy Kemp and Robert Stephens did their best as Leontes and Polixenes, but neither were compelling enough to really engage me in the story. I have thoroughly disliked Anna Calder-Marshall any time I have seen her before (as Cordelia in Lear, Cathy in Wuthering Heights, and in an episode of Inspector Morse), but here she was actually quite good, providing a very restrained and dignified Hermione.
The second half had more variety; romance, comedy, drama - and some of the younger actors were impressive. Robin Kermode, as Florizel, looked like Coldplay's Chris Martin, and was a convincing Prince Charming; Perdita (Debbie Farrington) was very pretty and Paul Jesson provided plenty of silliness as the Clown. However, the simple sets meant that it remained very much a play, and failed to really draw me in; even had I been prepared for the 3 hour running length, I would have found it went on too long.Read more ›
We jump then from Sicilia, Leontes' kingdom, to Bohemia, Polixemes' kingdom and the shepherds there, "sixteen summers" later, of course will I say: 4 is good, 8=4x2 is perfect so you can imagine what 16=4x4=8x2 can be: heaven. And heaven it is. Polixemes' son Florizel is courting the shepherdess Perdita. The father, Polixemes, and his adviser, Camillo, under disguise, find out. Camillo will play the double agent in the two directions: securing a diplomatic mission to Florizel from his father in Sicilia and Perdita could go along and they could be married in Sicilia, and at the same time the Shepherd who raised Perdita manages to bring to Polixemes the evidence of the royal origin of Perdita and then Camillo and Polixemes plus the Old shepherd and his son just known as the clown follow suit and arrive in Sicilia just after the two young people.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Got this for my sister who needed to watch it for her English degree.
She absolutely loved it & would recommend it to anyone!