Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 21

Thread: Your Opinion on the BBC Shakespeare series

  1. #1
    Registered User kelby_lake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    3,620

    Your Opinion on the BBC Shakespeare series

    Between 1978 and 1984, the BBC filmed all of Shakespeare's plays except The Two Noble Kinsmen, which is thought to be a collaboration.

    What are your view on the series in general and which ones are your favourite versions/least favourite?

  2. #2
    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kuala Lumpur but from Canada
    Posts
    4,161
    Blog Entries
    25
    I haven't seen them, unfortunately.

    I was wondering if anyone knows of a good film version of the Tempest. It's my favorite Shakespeare play, but I have yet to see it performed live.

  3. #3
    Dreaming away Sapphire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    below the sea surface
    Posts
    1,179
    I did not know that... And I haven't seen any of them

    However, this Christmas I watched HAMLET on BBC. It wasn't from the time period you describe - it is a very recent production. I really, really liked it
    I found it: it is indeed from 2009 {link}. Mind you, that's just a taste But I think most of the scenes are to be found on youtube.

    @OrphanPip
    Do you like animated series? {link}
    It is not too late, to be wild for roundabouts - to be wild for life
    Wolfsheim - It is not too late

  4. #4
    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kuala Lumpur but from Canada
    Posts
    4,161
    Blog Entries
    25
    Ya there was a recent BBC version of King Lear, with Ian McKellan in the title role, that was very good.

    Edit: Sapphire, I'm an animation snob, I've watched everything from 1920s films by Winsor McCay to Eastern Europeans like Jiri Trnka, I have a particul fondness for stop motion and puppetry.

    I'll take a look at the animated series.

    Edit: Speaking of Jiri Trnka, his Midsummer's Night Dream is simply fabulous.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjHklvgLaN4

    It's in Czech, and it's not what you could call too faithful an adaptation, though.
    Last edited by OrphanPip; 08-06-2010 at 05:42 PM.

  5. #5
    Card-carrying Medievalist Lokasenna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    In a lurid pink building...
    Posts
    2,769
    Blog Entries
    5
    The original run of BBC Shakespeare was very ropey, in my opinion - there are often many better versions.
    "I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!" - Nietzsche

  6. #6
    ésprit de l’escalier DanielBenoit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    There is a Heppy Land Furfur A-waay
    Posts
    3,718
    Blog Entries
    137
    Some of them were failures but I hold the Ian McKellan and Judi Dench Macbeth from 1977 (?) with the utmost admiration and awe. The best Macbeth production I've ever seen.

    . . ...wait a minute, was that BBC? *checks*
    The Moments of Dominion
    That happen on the Soul
    And leave it with a Discontent
    Too exquisite — to tell —
    -Emily Dickinson
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVW8GCnr9-I
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckGIvr6WVw4

  7. #7
    Registered User kelby_lake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    3,620
    Quote Originally Posted by DanielBenoit View Post
    Some of them were failures but I hold the Ian McKellan and Judi Dench Macbeth from 1977 (?) with the utmost admiration and awe. The best Macbeth production I've ever seen.

    . . ...wait a minute, was that BBC? *checks*
    Afraid not. Their Macbeth starred Nicol Williamson and Jane Lapotaire.

    I wasn't too impressed with the BBC Hamlet (starring Derek Jacobi). However the David Tennant version was excellent. Tennant really got Hamlet spot on.

    The BBC Measure for Measure is well worth a watch. It's a great play but there's no film version (except a dreadful 'indie' version updated to modern days with a cast of teens).

    The drawback with the BBC versions is the low budget- not so bad for Measure for Measure but what about the History plays?- and the fact that they were meant to be 'educational' and so the actors and directors didn't have much room to experiment. (Michael Bogdanov was banned from doing a modern dress version of Timon of Athens)

  8. #8
    Employee of the Month blank|verse's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,194
    I wasn't too impressed with the BBC Hamlet (starring Derek Jacobi). However the David Tennant version was excellent. Tennant really got Hamlet spot on.
    You've got to be kidding me! Derek Jacobi is my preferred Hamlet, and gets me each time, right from his '"Seems", madam - nay, it is' which is whined out like some petulant teenager. Maybe it's because this BBC version is older, and with a pretty low budget, that spoils your enjoyment of it, which is understandable, but Jacobi as Hamlet is wonderful, darling! Simply marvellous!!

    David Tennant does well in the recent, more modern BBC version, in what I thought was a fine production (I liked all the cctv cameras, and thought the gravediggers scene brilliant; although, no Fortinbras?), but I was never convinced he had the ruthlessness to kill his uncle; and he's completely acted off the screen by Patrick Stewart in his dual-role as Claudius and the ghost. But then, who wouldn't be?

    Other BBC versions I've seen vary in quality (naturally) but are all pretty good to be honest, as they are largely faithful to the text and well-acted; certainly good enough to watch while reading through a play to help understanding... and enjoyment.

  9. #9
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    20,355
    Blog Entries
    248
    I'm shocked too at Kelby's statement. In my opinion, Derek Jacobi's Hamlet defined the role. I have never seen another version played any better. He is the one I measure the character up against.

    Quote Originally Posted by kelby_lake View Post
    Between 1978 and 1984, the BBC filmed all of Shakespeare's plays except The Two Noble Kinsmen, which is thought to be a collaboration.

    What are your view on the series in general and which ones are your favourite versions/least favourite?
    On balance I think they're great. I've seen quite a few. Which is my favorite? Probably Hamlet.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    The Body in the Library Thespian1975's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hampshire UK
    Posts
    210
    Blog Entries
    1
    I've watched a few of them and they are indeed a mixed bag.

    I thought Titus Andronicus was very good even on a low budget but I thought The Taming of the Shrew with John Cleese as Petruchio was very poor and all respect.

    I like the "live" feeling of most of them as they were shot in extended shots with few cuts.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,380
    The David Tennant Hamlet and the Ian McKellan King Lear might have been filmed and distributed by the BBC but both were originally stage productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company and therein lies the difference between these two recent productions and the earlier Complete Works on film, but that's a whole new thread.

    I saw most of the BBC productions as they were made and broadcast and at the time thought they were a very mixed bunch - some were good, others indifferent. I think now their age is showing, filming/tv techniques have developed, production values differ; nevertheless the interpretations still have much to offer for consideration by the thoughtful student of the Bard.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by kelby_lake View Post
    Between 1978 and 1984, the BBC filmed all of Shakespeare's plays except The Two Noble Kinsmen, which is thought to be a collaboration.

    What are your view on the series in general and which ones are your favourite versions/least favourite?
    I find they vary. I can't say enough about Derek Jacobi's rendition of Hamlet. His recitation of the line, "It hath made me mad," was so fascinating I had to rewind the DVD. Also, Richard II was brilliant.

    On the other hand, I thought Macbeth was mediocre, and Othello, though highly praised, didn't impress me.
    Check out Twelfth Night's Shakespeare blog!
    http://twelfthnighttheatre.wordpress.com/

  13. #13
    Registered User kelby_lake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    3,620
    They were rather stifled creatively. I can understand wanting to be faithful to the harder plays but it's a shame they didn't have any really interesting interpretations.

  14. #14
    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kuala Lumpur but from Canada
    Posts
    4,161
    Blog Entries
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by kasie View Post
    The David Tennant Hamlet and the Ian McKellan King Lear might have been filmed and distributed by the BBC but both were originally stage productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company and therein lies the difference between these two recent productions and the earlier Complete Works on film, but that's a whole new thread.
    I looked it up and it wasn't even the BBC actually, it was the Royal Shakespeare Company and the filming was done by Channel 4, my mistake.

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,380
    And just to confuse the matter even more, the BBC is distributing the DVD and their logo is on it!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Brazilian Literature
    By Brasil in forum General Literature
    Replies: 80
    Last Post: 07-14-2013, 08:56 PM
  2. Shakespeare was Italian, from Messina.
    By Ultimo in forum Shakespeare, William
    Replies: 105
    Last Post: 09-21-2009, 03:46 PM
  3. Vote on a Play for Litnet's Youtube Shakespeare Theatre!
    By toni in forum Shakespeare, William
    Replies: 69
    Last Post: 09-17-2009, 12:07 PM
  4. What is Shakespeare saying here?
    By angryTurtle in forum Winter's Tale
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-26-2009, 11:57 AM
  5. Shakespeare and Saddam Hussein
    By Eric in forum Hamlet
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-24-2005, 06:07 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •