Richard II On DVD: 1978 Staring Derek Jacobi

djacobi_richardI just recently  watched Richard II from the “BBC’s Complete works of Shakespeare” DVD collection, and thought I would pass this on. I had watched this DVD without reading any reviews, so I went in with no expectations. Not to mention I had read that this was one of the more difficult plays to perform, so that lowered my expectations even more. And last, but not least,  the live version I’d recently seen was probably the least favorite of all the Shakespearean productions I had ever seen… period!. So’  if on this DVD, Derek Jacobi came out dressed in a duck suit, and quacked out the Soliloquy from Hamlet I would not have been surprised, and all my expectations would have been met. (Okay’ Now I’m just being silly, and the live version I saw really was not that bad, it just felt two dimensional and I didn’t like the way Richard was portrayed.)

So I popped in the DVD and… Wow! No’ Really, Wow… Derek Jacobi owned this role. I am not a critic who can analyze Shakespeare line and verse, but I do know when I have seen something amazing, and this left me stunned. If you are a Shakespeare, or Derek Jacobi fan, do yourself a favor and check out this version. You can rent it  at Netflix.com (Cheap), or buy it from Amazon.com for $130 as part of the BBC Shakespeare Histories 5 play collection.  Or you can do what I did an go to Amazon UK and buy the BBC’s  Complete works of Shakespeare (Same as the 5 above plus the rest) on DVD for about $122.00 plus shipping directly from  England. Keep in mind if you order from Amazon UK, these disks will not play on your standard DVD player unless that player can handle Region 2 DVD’s or your DVD player is region free. (leave a comment if you need more details).

If you want more details about this DVD you can check out the info at imdb.com where you will find a ton of reviews, casting information, ect.

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One Response

  1. I have this production on DVD infact i have the whole collection of this series made in the late 70′s and 80′s by the BBC.it is a really good buy for lovers of Shakespeare i think. Derek Jacobi as Richard 11 i found a very powerful performance likewise his Hamlet. Derek Jacobi i first saw in( I claudius ) on TV many years ago and thought him an amazing actor. I have recently brought a DVD called Charles Dicken’s England with Derek Jacobi as the narrator and he does a really great job taking the viewer to places Dicken’s placed many of his books on. This Shakespeare collection has so many good actors including Claire Bloom, Patrick Stewart, to name but a few. If you buy this series i am sure you will not be disappointed i wasn’t.

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