25 July 2012 | miranda-johnson-413-826748
Utterly sublime Shakespeare
What makes this selection of History plays so sublime? The glorious Ben Wishaw as Richard II. The equally glorious Tom Hiddlestone as Henry V. The - again - equally glorious Jeremy Irons as Henry IV. The fantastic supporting cast - especially Simon Russell Beale and Julie Walters and Rory Kinnear....
Also, the spellbinding music, the authentic locations, the detailed costumes, the sensitive cinematography, the wonderful direction and, of course, the eternally magnificent words.
I cannot find enough superlatives to praise these sublime productions. Shakespeare's language, his vision and his political and social world, brought to life by different directors with differing approaches, but with a singular aim - to entertain an audience with the most powerful weapons available - language. For me, they succeeded. To paraphrase the words of another denizen of Shakespeare's limitless imagination, Prospero, these productions: "...are such stuff as dreams are made on;"
Thank you, whoever had the common sense to commission and nurture these productions; the best thing I have seen on my television this year. And my 19 year old daughter and 16 year old son agree - I am no wrinkled greybeard, bemoaning the loss of the golden age, but I hope to see more of these productions; stunning gems of real culture and tradition, nestled amidst the dross of reality TV programming and the glorification of idiocy that is typified by the celebrity culture in which we live.
My copy of the DVD is on order, and I cannot wait to watch these magnificent productions again. And again and again and again....