William Shakespeare isn’t looking too bad for 450…….

Droeshout portrait of Shakespeare

Martin Droeshout: Shakespeare, 1623

Henry IV, parts 1 & 2: Shakespeare’s Globe

Naxos/OpusArte, 2012

Naxos/OpusArte, 2012

To many people the plays Henry IV  and Henry V hold a special place in the Shakespearean canon with their astonishing mix of drama, comedy and tragedy, much of it centred around that loveable rogue Falstaff. These riveting productions of parts 1 and 2 of Henry IV from the New Globe tick all the boxes, and the intimacy and immediancy of the space demonstrates how in Shakespeare’s theatre the audience was indeed part of the spectacle. You can watch these performances at home via the Naxos Video Library if you’re one of our Victorian registered users.

Naxos/OpusArte, 2012

Naxos/OpusArte, 2012

And if you visit the State Library you can see a number of sensational film versions of Henry V, such as this classic, and many more besides.

Criterion Collection, 2006

Criterion Collection, 2006

 

Shakespeare’s plays are full of music, and these two delightful discs (available on the Naxos Music Library) contain some really beautiful performances of dozens of songs recreated by Ross Duffin, who has meticulously matched Shakespeare’s words to music of the time.

Naxos/Azica, 2004

Naxos/Azica, 2004

The influence Shakespeare continues to exert over just about every branch of the arts is nothing less than astonishing, and this lovely book charts just some of the artists, writers, musicians and others who have fallen under his mighty spell.

Merrell, 2003

Merrell, 2003

 

To end, something very special. The great American actress Katharine Cornell in her only film appearance in (of all things) Stage Door Canteen from 1943. An utterly charming scene that sneaks up on you and leaves you rather speechless, in an otherwise deliriously rambunctious movie; the magic of Hollywood, and Katharine, and Shakespeare of course!

 

 

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