The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0140  Thursday, 29 February 2008

From:		Olwen Terris <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Wednesday, 27 Feb 2008 16:24:52 -0000
Subject: 19.0134 Shakespeare on Video
Comment:	RE: SHK 19.0134 Shakespeare on Video

Yes, Frank Finlay performed very little Shakespeare to my regret. Robert 
Stephens in his autobiography suggested that Olivier chose Finlay as 
Iago to his Othello because he thought he wouldn't be very good and so 
Olivier would be in no danger of having the limelight stolen. Finlay 
played Brutus in a BBC 'Play of the Month' (13 April 1969), Robert 
Stephens was Mark Antony. A copy survives in the BFI National Archive. 
He played Dogberry in the famed National Theatre Zeffirelli production 
of 'Much Ado About Nothing' which was directed for the BBC by Alan 
Cooke. Long believed lost, a copy has recently been acquired by the 
Library of Congress taped from its showing on PBS on March 11 and March 
18 1971. Finlay also played First Gravedigger in Peter O'Toole's 
'Hamlet' directed by Olivier, the first play to be performed by the 
National Theatre Company. Happily a live studio sound recording of this 
production has survived - a copy is with the British Library Sound Archive.

Olwen Terris
Senior Researcher
Shakespeare Project
British Universities Film & Video Council.

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