SHAKE Fest Films

Posted: Friday 23rd August 2019

Hamlet (2009)

with David Tennant, Patrick Stewart, Penny Downie
Directed for stage and screen by Gregory Doran; produced by John Wyver and Sebastian Grant. An Illuminations/RSC production for BBC, WNET/13 and NHK; 183 minutes

Filmed on location for BBC Television, this screen version of the Royal Shakespeare Company's exceptional 2008 stage production features David Tennant as the Prince and Patrick Stewart as Claudius. Time Out praised "the rich texture of this stunning production... a visually arresting style... a mesmerising three hours."

A Midsummer Night's Dream (1959)

with Charles Laughton, Robert Hardy, Mary Ure, Ian Holm, Vanessa Redgrave, Albert Finney
Directed for stage by Peter Hall; directed for screen by Fletcher Markle; produced by Hubbell Robinson; 90 minutes (including introduction).

A rare screening of a historic recording made on the stage of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. Peter Hall's glorious stage production starred the great Charles Laughton as Bottom and featured a host of emerging actors who would distinguish RSC productions in the next two decades. The black-and-white recording was made for American television but seemingly never broadcast, and includes a delightful prologue by Laughton wandering the streets of Stratford as well as a welcome to the theatre by a youthful Peter Hall.

Before the screening, John Wyver will discuss film and television adaptations of RSC productions as well as his work producing the RSC Live from Stratford-upon-Avon cinema broadcasts. John is Director, Screen Productions at the RSC and the author of the recently published Screening the Royal Shakespeare Company: A Critical History(Bloomsbury, 2019)