Moving from Rheidol Mews

14th May 2019

After almost 30 glorious and fruitful years, Illuminations left the Mews on 17 May. Our building had been sold to a private developer and so we have had to seek pastures new. (For more on the Mews and our memories of being there, go here.) You can now find us at ScreenWorks, which is just down the road in Highbury Grove. This is on the site of an old television factory – and we quite like that.

Phone and e-mail details are as before, but our postal address now is:

Studio 309, ScreenWorks
22 Highbury Grove
London N5 2ER

Illuminations goes digital!

11th December 2018

We’re very excited to announce brand new digital downloads and streaming for some of our bestselling titles, just in time for viewing over the festive period.

Macbeth (Patrick Stewart), Julius Caesar, Richard II and Macbeth (Antony Sher) will be available to purchase from our Film Shop for streaming or download from 12th December. These are the first batch of digital products and we plan to add all 45 films from our prestigious visual arts series, theEYE, early next year. And more planned for release in 2019. All films and extras are fully subtitled for the first time ever.

We are pleased to share our latest specially-produced trailer for Macbeth (Patrick Stewart), which is a true Shakespearean horror movie to behold.


Subtitles for Patrick Stewart’s Macbeth

23rd August 2018

We’re thrilled to announce a new version of our best-selling film, Macbeth, now with subtitles across the main film, extras and director’s commentary. We are committed to ensuring that our films are accessible to all and every new Illuminations product (DVD, Blu-ray or download) we publish features subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing as standard.

Releasing this new DVD and (very soon!) download edition of one of our most popular titles ensures that Shakespeare’s most brilliant of plays can be enjoyed by a far wider audience. If anyone has an original DVD with no subtitles that you wish to replace with our new version, please do contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Your Privacy Matters

24th May 2018

In light of a new regulation coming into effect across the EU, Illuminations has updated its Privacy Policy in line with the new GDPR rules. Your trust is important to us, so keeping your personal information safe and secure remains our priority. To find out more, please take a look at our updated Privacy Policy, which will apply from Friday 25th May 2018.

The disappearing Hamlet

19th April 2018

Our production with the Almeida of Robert Icke’s staging of Hamlet only has a few days left on BBCiPlayer. You can catch it here until Monday 30 April.

Hamlet captures the Almeida Theatre’s 2017 acclaimed production of William Shakespeare’s great play, recorded as-live in its West End transfer on the stage of London’s Harold Pinter Theatre.

Robert Icke’s innovative modern-dress production, featuring Andrew Scott (as Hamlet), Juliet Stevenson (Gertrude), Angus Wright (Claudius) and Jessica Brown Findlay (Ophelia), has been widely acclaimed as a dazzlingly intelligent, forcefully contemporary staging. The Evening Standard hailed Andrew Scott’s “career-defining performance… he makes the most famous speeches feel fresh and unpredictable.”

The recording features the original cast, and the screen director is Rhodri Huw, working in close collaboration with Robert Icke. Hamlet has design by Hildegard Bechtler, with lighting by Natasha Chivers, sound by Tom Gibbons, and video design by Tal Yarden.

The stage production was nominated for Best Revival, Andrew Scott as Best Actor and Tom Gibbons for Best Sound Design in the recent Olivier Awards. The production recently won Best Stage Revival in the WhatsOnStage Awards, and Juliet Stevenson won Best Supporting Actress in a Play, whilst Andrew Scott won the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Best Shakespearean Performance.

Hamlet is is an Illuminations/Almeida Theatre production presented by BBC, The Almeida Theatre, The Ambassador Theatre Group and Sonia Friedman Productions. The broadcast producer for Illuminations is John Wyver. Photo: Manuel Harlan.

Winged Bull takes flight

17th February 2018

Control room at National Gallery

Above is the temporary control room we have built for the weekend of 17-19 February at London’s National Gallery. We are shooting a complex and ambitious Performance Live film titled Winged Bull in the Elephant Case which will be shown on BBC Two in early March as part of BBC Television’s Civilisations Festival.

Here’s the outline from the press release for that project:

As the Second World War broke out and bombs menaced London, the National Gallery’s art collection was evacuated to Snowdonia, buried for safe-keeping deep in the Manod slate mines. Winged Bull in the Elephant Case dramatises the journey of a lost painting that takes human form, as it strives, with help from its friends, to get back to the National Gallery. Combining extraordinary dance forms, filmed underground and in the National Gallery, this immersive performance for the screen questions how far we should go to preserve our cultural heritage in the face of violence and aggression.

Winged Bull in the Elephant Case is produced by Studio Wayne McGregor. The production is written and directed by Robin Friend, directed by Wayne McGregor CBE, and the live screen director is Rhodri Huw. The music is composed by Joel Cadbury.

The programme features new choreography by Wayne McGregor, Charlotte Edmonds, Botis Seva and Bonetics. The programme is part of the Performance Live strand – a collaboration between Arts Council England, BBC Arts, and Battersea Arts Centre which brings some of the most innovative live theatre, dance, comedy and spoken word to BBC television.

The Executive Producer for the BBC is Emma Cahusac and the Strand Producers are Battersea Arts Centre and Andrew Fettis.

Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man: available on DVD and Blu-ray

1st November 2017

We are pleased to announce the DVD and Blu-ray release of Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man in conjunction with New Adventures. First seen in 2000, this production was filmed by Illuminations for Sky Arts in 2015. The DVD will be available on 20th November and the Blu-ray to be released on 11th December.

Inspired by both the book and film adaptation of A Postman Always Rings Twice and based loosely on Bizet’s opera Carmen, The Car Man swaps the 19th Century Spanish cigarette factory for a 1960s greasy garage-diner in mid-west America. The Car Man is a story about greed, lust, betrayal and revenge that is brought about when the introduction of a handsome stranger perturbs the townsfolk of Harmony.    

The original production won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Outstanding Musical Event and was a followed by a worldwide tour. Similarly, the 2015 production received glowing reviews and was screened worldwide in cinemas throughout 2016.

DVD extras include The Making of the Car Man that features interviews with key cast and crew including leading dancers Zizi Strallen and Chris Trenfield, Terry Davies and New Adventures’ founder, Matthew Bourne.  You can read more about the DVD and purchase it here or the Blu-ray here.

The release of The Car Man on DVD and Blu-ray coincides with Matthew Bourne’s adaptation of Cinderella which opens in December at Sadler’s Wells and will be touring the rest of the country into next year. 

Announcing Basquiat documentary

17th August 2017

To coincide with the opening in September of the first large-scale exhibition at London’s Barbican Gallery of iconic American painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, we are pleased to announce the release of a DVD documentary, Jean-Michel Basquiat: A Life, directed by Jean-Michel Vecchiet.

Offering a dazzling chronology of Basquiat’s journey from humble teenager in downtown 1980s New York towards artistic glory in just 7 years, Vecchiet constructs a dramatic narrative via a whirlwind of images, literature, music and personal testimonies to reveal the explosive creativity of this self-taught.

DVD extras include interviews with Glenn O’Brien, Maripol, Suzanne Mallouk, Agnes B and Enrico Navarra. Jean-Michel Basquiat is produced by Arte and distributed in the UK by Illuminations.

You can read more about the film and purchase the DVD here.

Jean-Michel Basquiat is also featured in our exciting and challenging documentary series, The State of the Art, available as a 2-disc DVD set.

Filmed in Europe, the United States and Australia in 1985-6, the six programmes feature many key artists including Joseph Beuys, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cindy Sherman, Antony Gormley, Hans Haacke and Eric Fischl.  Each film adopts a thematic approach, with episodes looking at History, Value, Imagination, Politics, Sexuality and Identity.


New Architectures titles

28th July 2017

We are pleased to announce the release of four new products in our best-selling Architectures series. To complete the series, Volumes 9 and 10 and a bonus film, Paris, are now available either separately or as an 11-DVD box set.

Complete Series 11 DVD Boxset

The set features all 11 Architectures films including newly released volumes 9 and 10 alongside a bonus film, Paris.

Architectures 9

Comprising of 6 x 26 minute films about The Glass Galleon, France; The French Communist Party’s headquarters, France; The Glasgow School of Art, Scotland; The Unal House, France; Itimad-ud-Davlah, India; The Van Nelle factory, The Netherlands.

Architectures 10

Comprising of 6 x 26 minute films about The Wa Shan Guesthouse, China; Roissy 1, France; The Iron House, Belgium; The Philips Exeter Academy Library, USA; The Home for All at Rizkuzentakata, Japan; The Hotels de Soubise and de Rohan, France.

Paris (bonus volume)

Forming the 11th volume in the complete box set, this is the story of how Paris became a vibrant metropolis told through two films: Paris, The Invention of the Modern City (black and white, 49 mins) and Paris Ring (colour, 54 mins).

Richard II released

20th December 2016

We are thrilled to announce that Richard II directed by Deborah Warner with Fiona Shaw as the king is now available on our DVD label and can be purchased here for £17.99. Twenty years ago we produced this television version of the ground-breaking 1995 production at the National Theatre, but it has not previously been released in any video format. As Peter Kirwan writes in a generous review

The timing of the release couldn’t be better, coming as it does hot on the heels of the Royal Exchange’s Hamlet, the RSC’s Cymbeline, the Old Vic’s King Lear and the Donmar’s Shakespeare trilogy. The ‘moment’ of women playing Shakespeare’s leading male roles on a widespread scale has finally arrived, and as such it feels fitting that Fiona Shaw’s breath-taking Richard II can now also reach a broader audience, twenty years on.