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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: October ::
Re: Performances and BBC
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0764.  Thursday, 24 October 1996.

(1)     From:   Barbara Geisey<Barbara=Geisey%Admin%
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        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Oct 96 8:16:23 -24000
        Subj:   Re: Performance

(2)     From:   David Skeele <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Oct 1996 12:05:40 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0762  Re: Performances and BBC

(3)     From:   David Evett <R0870%
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        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Oct 1996 15:29 ET
        Subj:   SHK 7.0762  Re: Performances and

(4)     From:   Paul Ashton <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Oct 1996 21:13:35 +0100
        Subj:   Re: Performances and BBC

(5)     From:   Juhani Rudanko <
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        Date:   Thursday, 24 Oct 1996 11:04:20 +0300 (EET DST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0758  Re: Performances and BBC

(6)     From:   David Schalkwyk <
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        Date:   Thursday, 24 Oct 1996 11:58:41 SAST-2
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0762  Re: Performances and BBC


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Barbara Geisey<Barbara=Geisey%Admin%
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Date:           Wednesday, 23 Oct 96 8:16:23 -24000
Subject:        Re: Performance

Ambrose Video (800-526-4663) suggests "this series [BBC complete collection of
Shakespeare's Plays] is offered exclusively through Ambrose Video Publishing."
All 37 plays  $2,500.00.  Each play  $99.95.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Skeele <
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Date:           Wednesday, 23 Oct 1996 12:05:40 -0500
Subject: 7.0762  Re: Performances and BBC
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0762  Re: Performances and BBC

I apologize in advance for any repetition of material that this request might
cause.  Over the last couple of weeks I remember that there were two postings
which dealt with the availability of essays and books about the BBC Shakespeare
series.  Unfortunately, I deleted these, and I now find myself in need of this
information.  I am in the process of adding my own revisions to a critical and
theatrical history of PERICLES (to be published over the next year or so by
University of Delaware Press--if I may do a little cyber-promotion here) that I
have written, and I am considering including the BBC production.  I would be
highly interested in any writings which place these television productions in
cultural/historical context.  Do any of the previously-announced publications
do this?  The only one I can think of is the published conference proceedings
entitled "Is Shakespeare Still Our Contemporary?"  I remember that one of the
people who had written about them was Hardy Cook himself, and I can't remember
the other person. Would you mind posting them again (to me personally,
probably)?

                                                Thanks Again!

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <R0870%
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Date:           Wednesday, 23 Oct 1996 15:29 ET
Subject: Re: Performances and
Comment:        SHK 7.0762  Re: Performances and

The BBC Time-Life productions of Shakespeare can be ordered from The Writing
Company, at $99.95 per play or $2500 for the whole set.  Phone 800-421-4246,
fax 800-944-5432.  Email 
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 .  I suspect that there are other
outlets, too; I wish I could pretend I knew of one that offered better prices.
I'd be interested to know why, long after the costs ought to have been
amortized or written off, the producers continue to demand prices so far out of
line with the commercially released tapes of other productions.

David Evett

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul Ashton <
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Date:           Wednesday, 23 Oct 1996 21:13:35 +0100
Subject:        Re: Performances and BBC

The BBC only released a selected number of titles from their Shakespeare
series. From memory, they are as follows:

King Lear, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of
the Shrew, The Winter's Tale, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2, Henry V,
Othello (two tapes), Hamlet (two tapes), The Tempest, Measure for Measure, As
You Like It, Twelfth Night, Anthony and Cleoplatra, The Merry Wives of Windsor,
Julius Ceasar... I think that's it.

A couple of years back the BBC ceased producing them under its own brand, and
licensed them out here exclusively to the book and newsagent chain WH Smith.
Unfortunately, most branches of WH Smith are too small to carry these titles in
their video department - even the big Oxford Street, London, store carries no
more than half-a-dozen. The versions are, however, complete, only differing
from the originals in badging and price (310.99 instead of the BBC's 315.99).
Virgin Records in Oxford Street still carries a few original BBCs but HMV has
exhausted its supply. I understand that the deal with WH Smith is due to end
soon, so hopefully they will become widely available again.

HMV, incidently, carries the English Shakespeare Company's War of the Roses
series - separate tapes for R2, 1H4, 2H4, H5, and R3, and the H6s truncated
into The House of Lancaster and The House of York. These were filmed live in
performance in Swansea in the 1980s. The boxed set is available for 380.

The RSC at Stratford has a resource centre that holds tapes of all the BBC
series, including the plays not released commercially. It holds other versions
too, I understand. You can't buy, but you can watch. I'm not entirely sure of
the arrangement, but I think it is free - you merely need to give them a couple
of days warning that you're coming. The number is (UK)1789 204016.

Paul Ashton

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(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Juhani Rudanko <
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Date:           Thursday, 24 Oct 1996 11:04:20 +0300 (EET DST)
Subject: 7.0758  Re: Performances and BBC
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0758  Re: Performances and BBC

In spite of the opinion voiced on the list that the BBC shop in London, off
Oxford Street, is the best place to buy BBC videos, I would like to mention my
experience in that shop some three or four years ago when I went there with the
express purpose of buying BBC videos. They did have tapes of some of the plays
but not the ones that I wanted, namely Coriolanus, Timon, and Titus. From a
shop assistant in the shop I got the impression that the BBC productions of
these three plays may not be available for sale to the public at all, at least
not in Great Britain, and that their sale may be restricted to certain
organizations. So to this day I have been unable to get hold of these. The
reference to PBS stations in America selling the whole set for USD 2.500 looks
to me like the best advice so far on the list on how to get hold of BBC videos.
I will look into in during my next trip to the US. Of course, if some member of
the list has further information on whether the BBC productions of Coriolanus,
Timon, and Titus might be available for sale to the public, in the US or
elsewhere, without the need to buy the whole set, this would be most helpful.

        Juhani Rudanko, University of Tampere, Finland

(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Schalkwyk <
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Date:           Thursday, 24 Oct 1996 11:58:41 SAST-2
Subject: 7.0762  Re: Performances and BBC
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0762  Re: Performances and BBC

The frustrations of those (especially "non-academics") who have been unable to
get the BBC Shakespeare videos may be slightly relieved at the news that the
videos were, initially at least, not meant for wide public distribution.  I
forget the exact wording at the beginning of each video, but the gist is that
the series is meant for educational and training purposes only and is available
only to such institutions.

This announcement is the first thing I discuss with my students.  It
constitutes a certain political framework which is pertinent to the debate
about the quality of the series as a whole.

David Schalkwyk
 

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