24 November 2016
Screen Plays series
Deborah Warner’s staging of Richard II with Fiona Shaw as the king stirred up a significant critical controversy when it was presented in 1995 at the National Theatre, and then later in Salzburg and Paris. Among those who recognised its originality and strengths was the critic Paul Taylor who praised the ‘gripping, lucidly felt production’ and Fiona Shaw’s ‘dazzlingly disconcerting… deliberately uncomfortable, compelling performance.’
For the screen version, Deborah Warner and production designer Hildegard Bechtler re-imagined Richard II as an innovative drama that was shot over a fortnight using film techniques. Playing alongside Fiona Shaw is a distinguished cast including Donald Sinden (Duke of York), Richard Bremmer (Henry Bolingbroke), Julian Rhind-Tutt (Duke of Aumerle), Kevin McKidd (Harry Percy) and Paola Dionisotti (Duchess of York).
A sumptuous and startling television film, this Richard II offers a unique interpretation of Shakespeare’s tale of a monarch’s downfall. Two decades on from its creation, Illuminations is delighted to release for the first time this landmark production on DVD as part of the Screen Plays series. Extras include Making Richard II featuring interviews with Deborah Warner and Fiona Shaw, in addition to a 16-page booklet of critical writing and stunning stills.
Screen Plays is a series of prestige DVD releases featuring major BBC productions of classic theatre plays, starring leading actors of the past fifty years. Each DVD release offers the best-available archive materials complemented with new video interviews together with a booklet giving background information and critical writing. An Age of Kings and The Wars of the Roses are the first two DVDs in the Screen Plays series.