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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: February ::
Can we talk about the BBC series again?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0191  Tuesday, 4 February 2003

From:           Lea Luecking Frost <
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Date:           Monday, 03 Feb 2003 20:25:41 -0600
Subject:        Can we talk about the BBC series again?

From the Poor Yorick newsletter I got in my email today:

>A new 5 title BBC box set has been released on DVD.
>Please check our new release listings below for details. At
>this time we are still being permitted to sell the
>individual titles and full sets through our showroom only,
>so this would be a great time to plan that trip to
>Stratford. Showroom prices for the BBC titles are $55.95 CDN
>($34.95 US) or $1500.00 CDN ($1,000 US) for the full set.

Disappointing as it is that you can't order the DVDs online, I go to
Stratford every summer anyway, and am definitely going to stop by and
blow some money (well, it wouldn't be blowing, really). Now, the thing
is-I hear the series is somewhat inconsistent, and I'd love some
opinions on which plays are particularly good.

The only installment in the BBC series I've actually watched from
beginning to end is Richard II, and as it stars Derek Jacobi, is my
favorite play anyway, and is spectacularly well-done, that one's
definitely on my list.

As far as others-I've mostly seen snippets of them in various classes.
Of those, Much Ado About Nothing looked quite good; the Henry IVs seemed
okay (Jon Finch as King Henry kicked major butt); Twelfth Night didn't
impress me a whole lot; Hamlet looked good (yay Jacobi!); Othello is
supposed to be good, too; Midsummer and Tempest did not impress me, and
I don't remember Measure well enough to comment.

Also (this seems to be a general consensus, almost; it certainly came up
a few times in the old SHAKSPER threads I looked at) I've heard the
Henry VIs are excellent, and well worth checking out, although I've also
heard that Richard III isn't quite as impressive. Thoughts, comments,
miscellaneous personal abuse? Any ideas on which plays I should avoid at
all costs?

Regards,
Lea

p.s. Speaking of Shakespeare movies, I scored a copy of "Chimes at
Midnight" off eBay for $20. Now *that's* a magnificent film...

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