6.9/10
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The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1983)

In 16th century Italy, two inseparable friends suddenly become rivals for the love of a noblewoman.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Barrie ...
...
Julia
Hetta Charnley ...
Tyler Butterworth ...
John Hudson ...
Nicholas Kaby ...
...
Antonio
John Woodnutt ...
Joanne Pearce ...
Silvia
...
Bella ...
Crab
...
Thurio
Paul Daneman ...
Duke of Milan
Daniel Flynn ...
Servant
Charlotte Richardson ...
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Storyline

Valentine and Proteus have been friends since childhood. The two are sad when Valentine must leave to work for a count, but Proteus is not too bothered since he is seeing the lovely Julia. Proteus' father, not liking the idea of the match, sends his son away to work with Valentine at the count's court. When Proteus is reunited with his friend again, Valentine introduces him to the beautiful and intelligent noblewoman Silvia. He confesses the two of them are in love and plan to elope. Unfortunately, Proteus becomes infatuated with Silvia upon first sight, forgetting all about Julia, and plans to betray his friend and his love to win Silvia for himself. Written by cupcakes

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Comedy

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Release Date:

27 December 1983 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: The Two Gentlemen of Verona  »

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Trivia

Part of the long running BBC Television Shakespeare project which ran between 1978 and 1985. See more »

Connections

Version of Ama E Cambia Il Mondo: Live Arena di Verona (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Filtering out the rubbish
16 December 2001 | by (Wellington, New Zealand) – See all my reviews

I must admit that this production of one of Shakespeare's earliest plays (if not the earliest) is beginning to grow on me. I must be losing my critical judgment.

Or it may be because I have learned to filter out the rubbish spoken by the main characters, and play full attention only when the clowns Speed (in this production played plausibly as an annoying boy by Nicholas Kaby) and Launce (played by Tony Haygarth) are speaking. Launce's classic speech to his dog Crab (the only other engaging character) about the trouble Crab has brought on him is the highlight of the play.

It may be that this production (the only one of this play I have seen) suffers from the seriousness which is applied to all of the productions in this BBC series of the plays. I wondered on watching it how much better it might have been if the four main characters had played their lines for laughs. The absurd reconciliations in the final scene might then have had me rolling in the aisles rather than staring in disbelief. It is hard to believe that a writer as intelligent as Shakespeare could have intended to have those lines delivered po-faced, and harder still to believe that if he did anyone would have paid him to write another play


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