The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0505  Wednesday, 6 November 2013


From:        Louise Machin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         November 5, 2013 at 12:25:07 PM EST

Subject:    An Age of Kings 5 Disc DVD



Illuminations presents an exclusive 5-disc DVD of 


An Age of Kings 


Eight History plays by William Shakespeare


Groundbreaking adaptation of Shakespeare’s Histories available for the first time in 50 years


960 minutes including extras

£34.99 including VAT


An Age of Kings is the BBC’s compelling 15-part series from 1960 of William Shakespeare’s great national pageant of eight History plays. Watched by over three million viewers, it is the most ambitious Shakespeare project ever filmed for television.


Hailed by the Guardian as ‘ambitious ... exciting ... a striking example of the creative use of television’, it was a powerful demonstration of the BBC’s unique strengths and abilities in a time when Britain’s public service broadcaster was not principally in the hunt for ratings.


Planned as the inaugural production in the newly-built BBC TV Centre, An Age of Kings was later broadcast live on Thursday evenings every fortnight from Riverside Studios in Hammersmith as the series wasn’t ready in time for the opening. 


For more than 50 years, this TV landmark has been entirely unavailable in Britain. Yet its drama of power politics, betrayals, deceptions and deadly rivalries is as alive as ever. So too is the beauty of some of Shakespeare’s greatest poetry and prose.  


An Age of Kings features outstanding actors, including Robert Hardy, Eileen Atkins, Judi Dench, and Sean Connery, at the beginning of their highly successful careers. More than five decades after it was first seen, An Age of Kings is a vivid and vibrant drama, with an unparalleled clarity and immediacy, sense of scale and poetic depth.


With 600 speaking parts and 30 weeks of rehearsal before filming, each episode cost £4000. The series was shot on only four cameras with a cyclorama used for the battle scenes and lots of smoke. 


DVD extras: The Making of An Age of Kings features Tony Garnett (Cathy Come Home, Days of Hope) interviewed at Riverside Studios. Garnett recalls his experiences on this groundbreaking series and the challenges of making one of the most ambitious Shakespeare projects ever filmed.  


Also included in the 5 disc DVD pack is a 24-page booklet giving background information and critical writing about the production.


Barcode: 5060291820072

Catalogue number: AOK166




An Age of Kings taster reel (20 mins)


The Making of An Age of Kings (14 mins, 15 secs)


YouTube and DVD trailer with DVD advert (3 mins)


An Age of Kings press pack download (includes 2d and 3d pack shots, 12 stills and poster)


Illuminations is a leading producer and publisher of cultural media with a distinguished history of making programmes about the arts, digital culture, and ideas. Recent productions include Rupert Goold’s Macbeth starring Patrick Stewart, and RSC director Greg Doran’s Julius Caesar. More performance DVDs can be found online at


More information and review copies, contact Louise Machin on 020 7288 8409/07958 225186 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Louise Machin


Essential media about the arts

A: 19-20 Rheidol Mews, London N1 8NU

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