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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: January ::
Re: BBC Series
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0110  Friday, 18 January 2002

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Thursday, 17 Jan 2002 09:19:04 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0096 Re: BBC Series

[2]     From:   Ann Carrigan <
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        Date:   Thursday, 17 Jan 2002 12:29:43 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0096 Re: BBC Series

[3]     From:   Brian Willis <
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        Date:   Thursday, 17 Jan 2002 11:26:53 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0096 Re: BBC Series


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Thursday, 17 Jan 2002 09:19:04 -0800
Subject: 13.0096 Re: BBC Series
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0096 Re: BBC Series

Mary Jane,

May I recommend a change in plan?

>I'm also recommending to our library that we purchase ... AYLI

Maybe a different *AYLI*?  The BBC is truly dreary, despite some very
talented people in the cast.  The Stratford Festival video, I think, is
superior by far.  But then, it may not be on DVD.

With about 250 Shakespeare videos and counting,
Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ann Carrigan <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 17 Jan 2002 12:29:43 EST
Subject: 13.0096 Re: BBC Series
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0096 Re: BBC Series

Mary Jane Miller <
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 > suggested:

> Would we enjoy a thread on what the list thinks
> about various specific versions in the BBC series?
> I haven't seen them all but I'll offer to start.

"Othello" and "All's Well" are the videos I've seen most recently. I
agree with you on the former, Mary Jane, and enjoyed this version very
much. I still wonder how it would have been with James Earl Jones in the
lead, as originally proposed.  For me, it's Bob Hoskins' relentless
cruel laughter in the final scene that has stayed with me. He was
magnificent. (I thought "All's Well" was somewhat flat...not at all like
"Measure for Measure" which I liked.)

My favorites:

--Jane Howell's entire Henry VI-Richard III tetralogy
--Moshinsky's gorgeous Georgian "Love's Labour's Lost"
--"Richard II" with Derek Jacobi--a part I believe he was born to play
--"King John" with Leonard Rossiter in the title role and George
Costigan's lively portrayal of The Bastard --even the staginess of the
set fit with the construction of the play's simplified world-stage
there, I thought.

Jacobi's "Hamlet", an interesting if uneven "Titus Andronicus," and a
somewhat myopic "Merry Wives" were among those I enjoyed also. And,
never having seen "Timon of Athens" anywhere else, I thought it made as
much of Timon as possible.

I recall thinking "Twelfth Night," with Felicity Kendall as Viola, was a
very interesting production when it first came on TV. And compared to
all the light-hearted romps I've seen on stage, I prefer the darkness
left in.

I feel like I've missed one. And there are a bunch I've not yet seen.

I can't afford the whole series, but if I start collecting the
individual ones, I wonder if I will regret having not saved up for the
complete package.

By the way, I enjoyed reading Susan Willis's book on the series, "The
BBC Shakespeare Series: The Making of the Televised Canon." It's out of
print, but worth tracking down in a library or elsewhere.

--Ann Carrigan

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 17 Jan 2002 11:26:53 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0096 Re: BBC Series
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0096 Re: BBC Series

I like Jacobi's Richard II quite a bit. Amazingly callow in the opening
acts with a devastating emotional maturity in the final three. It gave
me chills watching it on a small television. It also includes Gielgud as
John of Gaunt and Jon Finch as Bolingbroke who are of course quite good
in their own right.

Brian Willis

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