Antonio's friend Bassanio is in love and needs money to go courting. Using Antonio as his collateral, he borrows money from Shylock. But when the debt comes due, Shylock demands repayment ... See full summary »
A boy dreams the play. Authority in Athens is shaky: Hermia rejects her father's choice, the Duke backs her father, and the Duchess sides with Hermia. Dad's choice, Demetrius, pursues ... See full summary »
Viola and Sebastian are lookalike twins, separated by a shipwreck. Viola lands in Illyria, where she disguises herself like her brother and goes into the service of the Duke Orsino. Orsino ... See full summary »
King Leontes of Bohemia suspects his wife, Hermione, and his friend, Polixenes, of betraying him. When he forces Polixenes to flee for his life, Leontes sets in motion a chain of events ... See full summary »
Cymbeline, the King of Britain, is angry that his daughter Imogen has chosen a poor (but worthy) man for her husband. So he banishes Posthumus, who goes to fight for Rome. Imogen (dressed ... See full summary »
Having subdued the Goths, warrior Titus Andronicus returns to Rome to bury his sons, with Gothic Queen Tamora and her retinue as captives. The newly-dead Roman Emperor's two sons, ... See full summary »
Paul Davies Prowles,
I'll start with a correction to another review: Like most or all of the other BBC Shakespeare productions I've watched, this has some minor abridgments, e.g., the haggling about "Heir to France" in V.2. It's nothing like as extreme as the "Good Bits" approach that Branagh took, and indeed leaves in some passages that suggest that even Shakespeare nods, such as Fluellen's nattering about Macedonian and Monmouth rivers immediately after mourning the massacre of the boys.
Like most of the other BBC Shakespeare I've watched, it's mostly competent, low-key, and not very dramatic. (After Olivier and Branagh, it was kind of interesting to see a sedate Crispin's Day speech.) There are some outright mistakes in the directing, at least in the light of Branagh. I don't see how anyone, for instance, could ever have directed Nym's leave-taking from Mistress Quickly as casual. But there are bits of Shakespeare here you won't see anywhere else, so it's worth watching, once you've seen Olivier and Branagh.
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