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The BBC Shakespeare 400th Anniversary Gift Set

The BBC Shakespeare 400th Anniversary Gift Set

$29.98

The set includes Bill a hilarious, Monty Pythonesque farce that imagines what really happened during Shakespeare'’s “lost years” as a hapless lute player leaves his family to follow his dream in London. David Tennant and Patrick Stewart breathe new life into Hamlet in this Royal Shakespeare Company production of what is arguably Shakespeare’'s most influential play -— Tennant’'s interpretation defined the role for a generation. Shakespeare Retold sees four of the bard’s most adored plays re-imagined in the modern day. Sean Connery, Judy Dench and some of the brightest British luminaries of stage and screen star in Shakespeare: An Age of Kings - an anthology of Shakespeare’'s eight sequential history plays (Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI, and Richard III).

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The set includes Bill a hilarious, Monty Pythonesque farce that imagines what really happened during Shakespeare'’s “lost years” as a hapless lute player leaves his family to follow his dream in London. David Tennant and Patrick Stewart breathe new life into Hamlet in this Royal Shakespeare Company production of what is arguably Shakespeare’'s most influential play -— Tennant’'s interpretation defined the role for a generation. Shakespeare Retold sees four of the bard’s most adored plays re-imagined in the modern day. Sean Connery, Judy Dench and some of the brightest British luminaries of stage and screen star in Shakespeare: An Age of Kings - an anthology of Shakespeare’'s eight sequential history plays (Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI, and Richard III).

Hamlet

The story of Hamlet, Shakespeare’s most famous and perhaps most influential tragedy, is one that is well trodden on theatre boards around the world. Set in Denmark, it recounts how Prince Hamlet exacts revenge on his uncle Claudius, who has murdered Hamlet’'s father, the King, taken the throne and married Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother. It vividly charts the course of real and feigned madness — from overwhelming grief to seething rage — and explores themes of treachery, revenge, incest, and moral corruption. In 2008, the UK’'s eminent Royal Shakespeare Company brought Hamlet back to the stage, spoken in verse but with contemporary dress and David Tennant in the eponymous role. No recent stage production in Britain has attracted either the level of interest or the near-unanimously positive reviews. Tennant’'s interpretation was recognised as defining the role for a generation, and Patrick Stewart's role of Claudius – as a performance of great depth and complexity (for which the actor won a highly-coveted 2009 Olivier award). But director Gregory Doran’s modern-dress production was also seen as a brilliant ensemble presentation that was thrilling, fast-moving, immediately accessible, supremely intelligent and – perhaps remarkably – in parts at least, very funny. In this specially-shot screen version of the stage play (which is filmed on location rather than in the theatre), Tennant and Stewart reprise their roles, along with director Doran and set and costume designer Robert Jones. Wholly faithful to the stage production and its performances; dynamic, exciting and contemporary, it brings Shakespeare’s greatest play to a far wider audience than ever before.

An Age of Kings

 Public television’s epic first smash hit is now available on DVD featuring a who’s who of British acting talent including Robert Hardy, Sean Connery, Judi Dench, Julian Glover, and Eileen Atkins!  Before Masterpiece Theatre, American Playhouse or Hollywood Television Theatre, there was An Age of Kings, a 15-part mini- series based on William Shakespeare's history plays.  An Age of Kings chronicles the turmoil, power, mystery and frailty of Britain's monarchs from Richard II (1399) to Richard III (1484). Not seen in North America since its original television broadcast in the 1960s, this extraordinary BBC production is finally available on DVD.

Episode 1 - Richard II: The Hollow Crown
Episode 2 - Richard II: The Deposing of a King
Episode 3 - Henry IV: Rebellion from the North
Episode 4 - Henry IV: The Road to Shrewsbury
Episode 5 - Henry IV: The New Conspiracy
Episode 6 - Henry IV: Uneasy Lies The Head
Episode 7 - Henry V: Signs of War
Episode 8 - Henry V: The Band of Brothers
Episode 9 - Henry VI: The Red Rose and the White
Episode 10 - Henry VI: The Fall of the Protector
Episode 11 - Henry VI: The Rabble from Kent
Episode 12 - Henry VI: The Morning's War
Episode 13 - Henry VI: The Sun in Splendour
Episode 14 - Richard III: The Dangerous Brother
Episode 15 - Richard III: The Boar Hunt

Shakespeare Retold

The four cutting-edge productions in this collection bring Shakespeare alive for a 21st century audience. Macbeth is the chef in a three-star restaurant, slicing apart his celebrity boss, Duncan. Beatrice and Benedick are rival co- anchors on a nightly newscast whose open hostility masks passion of a different kind. Titania and Bottom carouse together in a tawdry theme resort called Dream Park. And the eccentric aristocrat Petruchio sets out to tame the conservative MP Kate in a politically incorrect marriage of convenience. Playful, cunning and passionate, these adaptations breathe new life into four classic plays, perfectly complimenting the great BBC Shakespeare tradition.

Much Ado About Nothing: Written by David Nicholls Directed by Brian Percival Produced by Diederick Santer Starring Sarah Parish, Damian Lewis and Billie Piper Macbeth: Written by Peter Moffat Directed by Mark Brozel Produced by Pier Wilkie Starring James McAvoy, Keeley Hawes and Richard Armitage The Taming of the Shrew: Written by Sally Wainwright, Directed by David Richards Produced by Diederick Santer Starring Shirley Henderson, Rufus Sewell, Stephen Tompkinson and Twiggy Lawson A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Written by Peter Bowker Directed by Ed Fraiman Produced by Pier Wilkie Starring Imelda Staunton, Bill Paterson, Lennie James, Sharon Small and Johnny Vegas

Bill

Celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary with this hilarious comedy about the playwright's mysterious lost years. Bill Shakespeare is a hapless lute player with a big dream. When his bandmates kick him out of their group, Bill leaves his wife and kids behind to seek fame and fortune in the big city of London. He’s written a great work for the stage and he’s certain he’ll prove all his doubters wrong. Little does he know, however, his play is merely a guise for King Phillip II of Spain to try to steal the throne of his mortal enemy, Queen Elizabeth! Laughter abounds in this offbeat Monty Pythonesque farce about everyone's favorite bard.  

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Hamlet: Starring: David Tennant (Einstein, Eddington, Doctor Who, Casanova) , Patrick Stewart (Star Trek, X-Men) , Penny Downie (New Street Law) , Mariah Gale (Oliver Twist)

Shakespeare's An Age of Kings: Starring: Robert Hardy, Sean Connery, Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, Julian Glover, Hermione Baddeley, Paul Daneman, Tom Fleming, Mary Morris, Frank Pettingell, Terry Scully, David William

Shakespeare Retold: Bill Paterson (Miss Potter), Rufus Sewell (The Holiday, The Illusionist) Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland), Shirley Henderson (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Trainspotting), Billy Piper (Doctor Who), Keeley Hawes (MI-5)

Bill: Mathew Baynton (The Wrong Mans), Helen McCrory (Peaky Blinders, Penny Dreadful), Damian Lewis (Homeland, Billions)

Additional Information
Format: DVD
Run Time: 1584 minutes + 50 minutes of bonus content
Region: Region 1
Starring: Damian Lewis; David Tennant; Sean Connery; Judi Dench; Billie Piper; Helen McCrory; Patrick Stewart
Cast: <p>Bill: Damian Lewis (Homeland, Billions), Helen McCrory (Skyfall, Harry Potter films), Matthew Baynton (The Wrong Mans) <br />Hamlet: David Tennant (Doctor Who, Harry Potter films, Jessica Jones), Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation, X-Men) <br />Shakespeare Retold: Damian Lewis (Homeland, Billions), James McAvoy (X-Men), Billie Piper (Doctor Who, Penny Dreadful), Shirley Henderson (Trainspotting, Bridget Jones’ Diary) <br />Shakespeare: An Age of Kings Sean Connery, Judi Dench</p>
ISBN: 883929544257
Number of Discs: 9 Discs
Reviews

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O! For a muse of Fire
A perfect addition to the inventory of any of the Bard's friends and admirers. The package may seem to be built around "Bill" - an incredibly silly movie, but quite enjoyable if you have a modicum of knowledge of history and politics of the time.
"Hamlet" is a pleasant alternative to Kenneth Branagh''s epic (4 hrs 2 mins) production of 1996. "An Age of Kings" offers some interesting insights into what the BBC offered some younger actors, and how those stars of the future were able to maintain their identity while weaving themselves into the play. And then we have "Shakespeare Retold" - no doubt the future bane of High School English teachers who must read their student's curious interpretation of the various Quatros and Folios.
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Review by cuewerty; Toronto, ON, Canada (Posted on 6/15/2016)