The Hollow Crown (TV Mini-Series 2012)

TV Mini-Series   |  TV-14   |    |  Drama, History, War

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The Hollow Crown (2012) Poster

A mini-series of adaptations of Shakespeare's history plays: Richard II, Henry IV: Parts 1 and 2, and Henry V.


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12 November 2013 | stevequaltrough
| Good translation to screen
I saw the Michael Bogdanov directed versions of these plays at the Old Vic some time ago and loved them! But they didn't translate that experience onto the videos sold. This was a fine effort to film the unfilmable with Richard ii and Henry IV Part one coming out of the mix very well. The latter's opening pub scenes are incomprehensible to me and the Bogdanov version solved this by having Pistol burst in wearing a Buffalo Bill costume and firing off his pistols. By the time the audience had recovered from this, the rather difficult scene was over. Get past the opening hurdle and this play becomes one of Shakespeare's wittiest and wisest. This was an excellent production.I was less enamoured of Part two but mainly because it has weaker material in it (the army recruitment scene was tedious.) However this was forgotten when in the second half of the play, Jeremy Irons gave a towering performance as Bolingbroke. Tom Hiddleston was great as Hal/Henry V and you could chart his progress from tearaway youth to hero soldier with fascinated admiration. Surely he is wasted in Marvel films, good as he is in them. Having seen Jeremy's performance as Richard ii in Stratford ,it was brilliant to see him play the man who caused the downfall of that king (Richard II). And all from the comfort of my armchair! Great casting of Ben Wishaw and Rory Kinnear as modern incarnations of Richard/ Bolingbroke in this feud. The BBC have acquitted themselves well.I only wish there was a series 2 featuring the Henry 6th trilogy and Richard iii that completes this cycle of plays .Steve Qualtrough

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