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Julius Caesar

Shakespeare Julius Caesar play. Directed 2017 by Angus Jackson at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Stars Joseph Adelakun (Artemidorus/Dardanus/Cobbler), Ben Allen (Cinna the Conspirator/Titinius), Kristin Atherton (Calpurnia/Citizen), David Burnett (Murullus/Trebonius/Pindarus/Citizen), James Corrigan (Mark Antony), Paul Dodds (Metellus Cimber/Clitus), Patrick Drury (Publius/Cinna the Poet), Waleed Elgadi (Claudius/Volumnius/Soothsayer), Martin Hutson (Cassius), Samuel Littell (Lucius), Tom Lorcan (Citizen), Luke MacGregor (Popilius Lena/Strato/Carpenter), Tom McCall (Casca/Lucilius), Hannah Morrish (Portia), Anthony Ofoegbu (Cicero/Ligarius/Varro), Dharmesh Patel (Decius Brutus/Messala/Citizen), Lucy Phelps (Citizen), Jon Tarcy (Octavius Caesar), Alex Waldmann (Brutus), Marcello Walton (Flavius/Lepidus), and Andrew Woodall (Julius Caesar). Also stars Brandon Dodsworth, Kevin Greaves, Norma Julius, Natalis Koulombis, Jacq MacDonald, Shiv Sharma, Rosanna Thornwood, and Laura Wynter as Citizens of Rome.

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Titus

Titus motion picture based on the Shakespeare play Titus Andronicus. Directed 1999 by Julie Taymor. Stars Anthony Hopkins (Titus Andronicus), Jessica Lange (Tamora), Alan Cumming (Saturninus), Colm Feore (Marcus Andronicus), James Frain (Bassianus), Laura Fraser (Lavinia), Harry Lennix (Aaron), Angus Macfadyen (Lucius), Osheen Jones (young Lucius), Matthew Rhys (Demetrius), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Chiron), Kenny Doughty (Quintus), Colin Wells (Martius), Blake Ritson (Mutius), Raz Degan (Alarbus), and Geraldine McEwan (Nurse).

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Titus Andronicus

Shakespeare Titus Andronicus. Directed 2017 by Blanche McIntyre at Stratford-upon-Avon. Stars Stefan Adegbola (Aaron), Joseph Adelakun (Mutius), Kristin Atherton (Nurse), Will Bliss (Clown), David Burnett (Quintus), Paul Dodds (Returning Officer/Goth), Patrick Drury (Marcus Andronicus), Nia Gwynne (Tamora), Sean Hart (Demetrius), Martin Hutson (Saturnius), Amber James (Goth), Tom Lorcan (Martius), Luke MacGregor (Chiron), Tom McCall (Lucius), Hannah Morrish (Lavinia), Anthony Ofoegbu (Emilius), Dharmesh Patel (Bassianus), Jon Tarcy (Alarbus), David Troughton (Titus Andronicus), Marcello Walton (Publius), and Luca Saraceni-Gunner (Young Lucius).

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Antony and Cleopatra

Shakespeare Antony and Cleopatra play. Directed 2017 by Iqbal Khan at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Stars Joseph Adelakun (Scarus/Mardian), Ben Allen (Octavius Caesar), Kristin Atherton (Iras), Will Bliss (Soothsayer), David Burnett (Pompey), Antony Byrne (Mark Antony), James Corrigan (Agrippa), Paul Dodds (Menas), Patrick Drury (Lepidus/Schoolmaster), Waleed Elgardi (Alexas), Sean Hart (Eros), Amber James (Charmian), Luke MacGregor (Proculeius/Menecrates), Anthony Ofoegbu (Diomedes), Dharmesh Patel (Ventidius), Lucy Phelps (Octavia), Josette Simon (Cleopatra), Jon Tarcy (Demetrius), Marcello Walton (Maecenas), and Andrew Woodall (Enobarbus). Set design by Robert Innes Hopkins; lighting design by Tim Mitchell; music by Laura Mvula; sound by Carolyn Downing; movement by Villmore James; fights by Kev McCurdy. Screen direction by Robin Lough; produced by John Wyver. Has a director's commentary. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Hamlet

Shakespeare Hamlet play. Kenneth Branagh directed this motion picture in 1996 in widescreen 70mm. It was released in Blu-ray in 2010, and it still looks wonderful in 2017. Stars Riz Abbasi (Attendant to Claudius), Richard Attenborough (English Ambassador), David Blair (Attendant to Claudius), Brian Blessed (Ghost of Hamlet's Father), Kenneth Branagh (Hamlet), Richard Briers (Polonius), Michael Bryant (Priest), Peter Bygott (Attendant to Claudius), Julie Christie (Gertrude), Billy Crystal (First Gravedigger), Charles Daish (Stage Manager), Judi Dench (Hecuba), Gérard Depardieu (Reynaldo), Reece Dinsdale (Guildenstern), Ken Dodd (Yorick), Angela Douglas (Attendant to Gertrude), Rob Edwards (Lucianus), Nicholas Farrell (Horatio), Ray Fearon (Fracisco), Yvonne Gidden (Doctor), John Gielgud (Priam), Rosemary Harris (Player Queen), Charlton Heston (Player King), Ravil Isyanov (Cornelius), Derek Jacobi (Claudius), Rowena King (Attendant to Gertrude), Jeffery Kissoon (Fortinbras's Captain), Sarah Lam (Attendant to Gertrude), Jack Lemmon (Marcellus), Ian McElhinney (Barnardo), Michael Maloney (Laertes), John Spencer-Churchill, The Duke of Malborough (Fortinbras's General), John Mills (Old Norway), Jimi Mistry (Sailor Two), Sian Radinger (Prologue), Simon Russell Beale (Second Gravedigger), Andrew Schofield (Young Lord), Rufus Sewell (Fortinbras), Timothy Spall (Rosencrantz), Tom Szekeres (Young Hamlet), Ben Thom (First Player), Don Warrington (Voltimand), Perdita Weeks (Second Player), Robin Williams (Osric), Kate Winslet (Ophelia), and David Yip (Sailor One).

There's a lot of information on this single disc. The movie lasts 242 minutes and there are several mildly interesting extra features. The default language setting is an English soundtrack in 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio surround. There is a French soundtrack in 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound. In addition, there are German, Castilian, and Spanish sound tracks in Dolby Digital stereo. So take your pick of sound tracks and then you can also have subtitles in English, French, German, Castilian, Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, or Finnish! Finally, you can watch the whole show with a running commentary from Branagh and expert Russell Jackson, a feature that is popular with motion pictures but unusual for fine-art HDVDs.

While neither the packaging nor the disc has a statement made about region restrictions, the American release seems region-free and should play just fine on any player. But Warner Bros. has released separate German, French, and Spanish language versions for those markets and maybe other versions we don't know about. These other versions might not be region-free. So buyer beware. Grade: A+

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The Tempest

Shakespeare The Tempest play. Directed 2017 by Gregory Doran at the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre. Stars (alphabetical order) Alison Arnopp (Spirit), Simon Russell Beale (Prospero), Laura Cairns (Spirit), Elly Condron (Iris/Spirit), Joe Dixon (Caliban), Daniel Easton (Ferdinand), Caleb Frederick (Mariner/Spirit), Samantha Hay (Ceres), Sarah Kameela Impey (Spirit), Tony Jayawardena (Stephano), Matthew McPherson (Francisco), Joseph Mydell (Gonzalo), Oscar Pearce (Antonio), Mark Quartley (Ariel), Jenny Rainsford (Miranda), Darren Raymond (Boatswain), Joe Shire (Master of the Ship), Oliver Towse (Adrian), Simon Trinder (Trinculo), James Tucker (Alonso), Tom Turner (Sebastian), and Jennifer Witton (Juno). Also features musicians Samantha Hay and Jennifer Witton (sopranos), Max Gittings (flutes/whistles), Nick Lee (guitar), James Jones (percussion), and Bruce O'Neil and Gareth Ellis (keyboards). Production design by Stephen Brimson Lewis; digital character creation by The Imaginarium Studios; video by Finn Ross; lighting by Simon Spencer; music by Paul Englishby; sound by Jeremy Dunn and Andrew Franks; movement by Lucy Cullingford; screen direction by Dewi Humphreys; screen production by John Wyver. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: A+

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The Tempest

Shakespeare The Tempest motion picture. Juli Taymor wrote the screen play, produced, and directed this film seen in theaters in 2010. Stars Helen Mirren (Prospera), Russell Brand (Trinculo), Reeve Carney (Ferdinand), Tom Conti (Gonzalo), Chris Cooper (Antonio), Alan Cumming (Sebastian), Djimon Hounsou (Caliban), Felicity Jones (Miranda), Alfred Molina (Stephano), David Strathairn (Alonso), and Ben Whishaw (Ariel). Music by Elliot Goldenthal; costumes by Sandy Powell; cinematography by Stuart Dryburgh; editing by Françoise Bonnot. As is often the case with movie discs, this title includes interesting extras about the making of the film. Released 2011, disc has 5.1 Dolby Digital sound.  Grade: B+

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Shakespeare Three Tragedies

Shakespeare Three Tragedies Box Set. This box set includes the Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Hamlet, King Lear and Othello. All three are available individually on this website, and you can get more details by using the links provided:

  1. Hamlet. 2016. (No grade yet)
  2. King Lear. 2017. (No grade yet)
  3. Othello. 2016. (No grade yet)

Released 2017, both discs have 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

 

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Cymbeline

Shakespeare Cymbeline play. Directed 2016 by Melly Still at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Stars (in alphabetical order) Hiran Abeysekera (Posthumus), Romayne Andrews (First Lord/Dutchman), Gillian Bevan (Cymbeline), Doreene Blackstock (Cornelia/Soldier), Eke Chukwu (Caius Lucius/Spaniard), James Clyde (The Duke), James Cooney (Arviragus), Bethan Cullinane (Innogen), Marième Diouf (Helen/British Officer), Jenny Fennessy (Gentlewoman/Jailer), Kevin N. Golding (British Officer/Messenger), Marcus Griffiths (Cloten), Oliver Johnstone (Iachimo), Byron Mondahl (Philario/Soldier), Theo Ogundipe (Second Lord/Frenchman/Roman Captain), Natalie Simpson (Guideria), Graham Turner (Belarius), Temi Wilkey (Philharmonia), and Kelly Williams (Pisania). Designs by Anna Fleischle; lighting design by Philip Gladwell; music by Dave Price; sound by Jonathan Ruddick; movement by Emily Mytton; fights by Terry King; video by Dick Straker. Directed for screen  by Matthew Woodward; produced by John Wyver. Has a director's commentary. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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King Lear

Shakespeare King Lear play. Directed 2015 by Gregory Doran at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Stars (alphabetical order) Romayne Andrews (Servant/Messenger), Antony Byrne (Earl of Kent), Eke Chukwu (Lear's Gentleman), James Clyde (Duke of Cornwall), James Cooney (Servant), Bethan Cullinane (Messenger), Marième Diouf (Messenger), Paapa Essiedu (Edmund), Jenny Fennessy (Servant/Messenger), Kevin N. Golding (Curan/Doctor), Marcus Griffiths (King of France/Captain), Nia Gwynne (Goneril), Oliver Johnstone (Edgar), Byron Mondahl (Oswald), Theo Ogundipe (Duke of Burgundy/Herald), Antony Sher (King Lear), Natalie Simpson (Cordelia), Clarence Smith (Duke of Albany), David Troughton (Earl of Gloucester), Graham Turner (Fool), Ewart James Walters (Old Man), and Kelly Williams (Regan). Designs by Niki Turner; lighting design by Tim Mitchell; music by Ilona Sekacz; sound by Jonathan Ruddick; movement by Michael Ashcroft; fights by Bret Yount. Directed for screen and TV by Robin Lough; produced by John Wyver. Has a director's commentary. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Much Ado About Nothing

Shakespeare Much Ado About Nothing film. Adapted for the screen and directed by Joss Whedon. Stars Amy Acker (Beatrice), Alexis Denisof (Benedick), Jillian Morgese (Hero), Fran Kranz (Claudio), Reed Diamond (Don Pedro), Clark Gregg (Leonato),  Sean Maher (Don John), Spencer Treat Clark (Borachio), Riki Lindhome (Conrade), Nathan Fillion (Dogberry), Ashley Johnson (Margaret), Emma Bates (Ursula), Tom Lenk (Verges), Nick Kocher (First Watchman), Brian McElhaney (Second Watchman), Joshua Zar (Leonato’s Aide), Paul M. Meston (Friar Francis), Romy Rosemont (The Sexton), and Elsa Guillet-Chapuis (mute role as Court Photographer). Music by Joss Whedon; cinematography by Jay Hunter; edited by Daniel Kaminsky and Joss Whedon; produced by Joss Whedon and Kai Cole. Released 2013, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: A

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Hamlet

Shakespeare Hamlet play. Directed 2016 by Simon Godwin at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Stars Hiran Abeysekera (Horatio), Romayne Andrews (Osric/Sailor); Doreene Blackstock (Player Queen), Eke Chukwu (Voltemand), James Clooney (Rosencrantz), Bethan Cullinane (Guildenstern), Marième Diouf (Player/Cornelia), Paapa Essiedu (Hamlet), Kevin N. Golding (Bernardo/Player King/Captain/Priest), Marcus Griffiths (Laertes), Byron Mondahl (Professor of Wittenberg/English Ambassador), Tanya Moodie (Gertrude), Cyril Nri (Polonius), Theo Ogundipe (Marcellus/Lucianus/Fortinbras), Natalie Simpson (Ophelia), Clarence Smith (Claudius) Ewart James Walters (Ghost/Gravedigger), and Temi Wilkey (Francisca/Player/Gravedigger's Assistant). Set design by Paul Wills; lighting design by Paul Anderson; music by Sola Akingbola; music associate was Jon Nicholls; sound by Christopher Shutt; movement by Mbulelo Ndabeni; fights by Kevin McCurdy. Screen direction by Robin Lough; produced by John Wyver. Has a director's commentary. Released 2016, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Othello

Shakespeare Othello play. Directed 2015 by Iqbal Khan at Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. Stars Hugh Quarshie (Othello), Lucian Msamati (Iago), Joanna Vanderham (Desdemona), Jacob Fortune-Lloyd (Cassio), David Ajao (Montano), Nadia Albina (Duke of Venice), Scarlett Brookes (Bianca), James Corrigan (Roderigo), Ayesha Dharker (Emilia) Eva Feiler (Citizen of Venie), Owen Findlay (Gentlemaand n of Cyprus), Guy Hughes (Soldier), Gwilym Lloyd (Gratiano), Rina Mahoney (Citizen of Venice/Messenger), Ken Nwosu (Gentleman of Cyprus), Brian Protheroe (Brabantio), Jay Saighal (Gentleman of Cyprus/Herald), and Tim Samuels (Lodovico). Set and lighting design by Ciaran Bagnall; costume design by Fotini Dimou; music by Akintayo Akinbode; sound by Andrew Franks; movement by Diane Alison-Mitchell; fights by Kevin McCurdy; screen direction by Robin Lough; produced by John Wyver. Released 2016, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio. Grade: NA

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Henry V

Shakespeare Henry V play. Directed 2015 by Gregory Doran at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. Stars for the English: Oliver Ford Davies (Chorus), Alex Hassell (King Henry V), Dale Mathurin (Bedford/Bates), Daniel Abbott (Gloucester/Monsieur le Fer), Jim Hooper (Canterbury/Erpingham), Nicholas Gerard-Martin (Bishop of Ely/Orléans), Sean Chapman (Exeter), Andrew Westfield (Westmorland/MacMorris/Court), Christopher Middleton (Warwick/Nym), Keith Osborn (Scroop), Simon Yadoo (Cambridge/Jamy/Michael Williams), Obioma Ugoala (Grey/Gower), Joshua Richards (Bardolph/Fluellen), Anthony Byrne (Pistol), Sarah Parks (Mistress Quickly), and Martin Bassindale (Boy). Stars for the French: Simon Thorp (King of France), Jane Lapotaire (Queen Isobel), Robert Gilbert (Dauphin), Jennifer Kirby (Katherine), Leigh Quinn (Alice), Keith Osborn (Montjoy), Sam Marks (Constable of France), Christopher Middleton (Governer of Harfleur), and Evelyn Miller (Rambures/Lady-in-Waiting). Features the musicians Helena Raeburn (soprano), Max Gittings (woodwind), Samantha Norman (violin), Nick Lee (guitar), Andre Stone-Fewings (trumpet), Chris Sedden (trumpet), Ian Foster (tuba), James Jones (percussion), and Bruce O'Neil (keyboard). Designed by Stephen Brimson Lewis; lighting by Tim Mitchell; music by Paul Englishby, sound by Martin Slavin; movement by Michael Ashcroft; fights by Terry King; screen direction by Robin Lough; produced for screen by John Wyver. Package includes a Director's Commentary and other valuable extra features. Released 2015, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio. Grade: A+

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Shakespeare King & Country

Shakespeare King & Country Box Set. This box set includes the Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Richard II, Henry IV Part I, Henry IV Part II, and Henry V. All four titles are available individually on this website, and you can get more details by using the links provided:

1. Richard II. 2014. (A)
2. Henry IV Part I. 2015. (A+)
3. Henry IV Part II. 2015. (A)
4. Henry V. 2016. (A+)

This is one of the best boxes Opus Arte has put together. Everything is superb. It's April 2017 and the price for this in the US now is about $65, which is a real bargain. I remember watching some of this in about 1980 when the BBC put all of Shakespeare on SD TV. I didn't dare to dream then that I would ever see the Henriad done so well as the RSC does it in these HDVDs.

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