In 1978, the BBC set itself the task of filming all of William ShakespeareGÇÖs plays for television. The resulting productions, renowned for their loyalty to the text, utilised the best theatrical and television directors and brought great performances from leading contemporary actors. The Taming of the Shrew: ShakespeareGÇÖs comic confrontation between the sexes is rich with sparkling wit and great characterisation. This production was admired for Jonathan MillerGÇÖs fidelity to Elizabethan social mores and for an outstanding cast including John Cleese, whose portrayal of Petruchio won unanimous critical acclaim. The Merchant of Venice: The Merchant of Venice is one of ShakespeareGÇÖs most famous comedies, celebrated for its captivating villain, Shylock. In a production full of contrasts and ambiguities, Warren Mitchell plays the moneylender with a finely balanced combination of wickedness and pathos GÇô leaving the audience to decide whether he is a villain, a buffoon or a tragic hero. AllGÇÖs Well That Ends Well: AllGÇÖs Well That Ends Well won both BAFTA and RTS Awards and was considered one of the best of the BBC Shakespeare series. Director Elijah Moshinsky was said to have magnificently framed the scenes and highlighted the domestic nature of the play. The cast, particularly Celia Johnson as the Countess and Ian Charleson as an angry, sullen Bertram, also received great acclaim. Timon of Athens: In his most cynical work, Shakespeare explores the nature of money GÇô its virtues and vices. In this production Jonathan Pryce gives an astonishing and acclaimed performance as Timon and is backed by an impressive cast under masterly direction. Anthony & Cleopatra: Themes of ambition, power, love, friendship and deception GÇô laced with a fascinating portrait of self-destructive passion GÇô fuel ShakespeareGÇÖs romantic tragedy. In this production Jane Lapotaire is gripping in the sensual role of Cleopatra, while Colin Blakely takes the part of love-tortured Mark Antony. The WinterGÇÖs Tale: This stylised production of one of ShakespeareGÇÖs most haunting and enigmatic late works revels in its intense conflicts. An excellent cast (including Jeremy Kemp as a magnificent Leontes) highlight the tragic intensity and comic grace of the play. This unique collection has some of the finest dramas in the English language, each production a celebration of the greatest talents in contemporary British theatre and television. These plays feature the cream of the 20th century's acting talent. In this collection of Season Three delivers a further 6 classic adaptations from this award winning series including The Taming Of The Shrew, The Merchant Of Venice, All's Well That Ends Well, The Winter's Tale, Timon Of Athens, Antony And Cleopatra and starring theatre greats Jonathan Pryce,John Cleese, Jane Lapotaire.
BBC Shakespeare Collection: Series 3