British Universities Film & Video Council

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Hamlet

Alternative title
The Shakespeare Plays
Synopsis
Television production shot entirely in a studio with Derek Jacobi as Hamlet and Claire Bloom as Gertrude.
Series
BBC Television Shakespeare
Language
English
Country
Great Britain; United States
Medium
Television
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Recording date
31 Jan 1980
Transmission details
25 May 1980 at 19:15 (Channel: BBC2)
Duration
230 mins

Credits

Director
Rodney Bennett
Producer
Cedric Messina
Writer
William Shakespeare
Music
David Lloyd-Jones; Dudley Simpson
Costume
Barbara Kronig
Art Direction
Don Homfray
Contributor
Alan Shallcross
Cast
Derek JacobiHamlet
Patrick StewartClaudius
Claire BloomGertrude
Eric PorterPolonius
Lalla WardOphelia
Bill HomewoodPlayer King
Christopher BainesFrancisco
Dan MeadenCaptain
David HenryAmbassador
David RobbLaertes
Emrys JamesPlayer King
Geoffrey BatemanGuildenstern
Geoffrey BeeversLucianus
Iain BlairSailor
Ian CharlesonFortinbras
Jason KempPlayer Queen
John HumphryVoltemand
John SterlandCornelius
Jonathan HydeRosencrantz
Michael PoolePriest
Niall PaddenBarnardo
Patrick AllenGhost
Paul HumpoletzMarcellus
Peter BensonGravedigger (2)
Peter BurroughsPlayer
Peter GaleOsric
Peter RichardsPlayer Queen
Raymond MasonReynaldo
Reginald JessupMessenger
Robert SwannHoratio
Styart FellPlayer
Terence McGinityMime Murderer (Player)
Tim WyltonGravedigger (1)

Additional Details

Production type
Television and Radio Drama
Historical period
No period
Plays
Hamlet
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
drama in English; performances; Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)
Related items
Hamlet
Hamlet

Notes

Notes
The production is commercially available on DVD as part of the BBC TV SHAKESPEARE COLLECTION box set (see separate entry). The VHS version was deleted in March 2004 and has been replaced by the DVD version.
General
Between 1978 and 1986 the BBC published individual scripts of the series. Each volume of The BBC TV Shakespeare, ed. Peter Alexander et al. (London: British Broadcasting Corporation) contains the full text of the play (the Peter Alexander edition) with accompanying notes on the scene breaks and cuts made in the production, as well as a glossary. A general introduction to the play by series literary advisor John Wilders is followed by an essay on the production of the play by Henry Fenwick. This is based on interviews with actors, directors, and designers.
History
The production was recorded in nine days and broadcast separately between the second and third series. It was the last production supervised by the BBC TV Shakespeare project’s originator, Cedric Messina.
Textual information
Although some 500 lines had to be cut, according to Michael Brook (screenonline), it was still the longest Hamlet the BBC had ever broadcast.
Reviews
Michael Brook, "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark 1980)", http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/id/527101/index.html
Susan Willis, The BBC Shakespeare Plays: Making the Televised Canon (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991).

Online Availability

Online URL
https://store.bbc.com/collections/shakespeare-at-the-bbc
Online price
£3.99
Online format
Download

Production Company

Name

BBC

Notes
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Name

Time-Life Films Inc

Phone
0101 201 843 4545
Address
PO Box 644
NJ 07652
USA

Distributor

Name

BBC Store

Web
https://store.bbc.com/ External site opens in new window
Notes
NB. From May 2017 programmes are no longer available to buy on BBC Store. From November 1st 2017 the store will close completely and programmes bought from BBC Store will no longer be available to watch. Customers who have bought items from BBC Store will be contacted by email and refunded for their purchases either by full cash refund or Amazon video vouchers.

Record Stats

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