British Universities Film & Video Council

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Richard III

Synopsis
Last of a three-part televised adaptation of Shakespeare’s minor tetralogy (three parts of Henry VI and Richard III). Originally a Royal Shakespeare Company production directed by Peter Hall and John Barton, the four plays were condensed into three screenplays: Henry VI, Edward IV and Richard III.
Series
Wars of the Roses, The
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Television
Transmission details
22 Apr 1965 at 20:00 (Channel: BBC1)
Duration
145 mins

Credits

Director
John Barton; Michael Hayes; Peter Hall; Robin Midgley
Producer
Michael Barry
Writer
William Shakespeare
Music
Guy Woolfenden
Costume
John Bury
Art Direction
John Bury
Cast
Roy DotriceKing Edward IV
Madoline ThomasDuchess of York
Fergus McClelandPrince Edward (Prince of Wales)
Paul MartinRichard, the young Duke of York
Charles KayGeorge, Duke of Clarence
Anthony BodenThird Messenger (Messenger)
Charles ThomasSir William Catesby
David EllisonFirst Messenger (Messenger)
David HargreavesDuke of Norfolk
David MortonMessenger from Lord Derby (Messenger)
David WarnerSecond Messenger (Messenger)
Derek WaringLord Rivers
Donald BurtonMurderer (1)
Eric PorterEarl of Richmond
Henry KnowlesSir James Tyrrel
Hugh SullivanHastings
Ian HolmRichard, Duke of Gloucester, later King Richard
Janet SuzmanLady Anne
Jeffery DenchThird Citizen
John CorvinSir Richard Ratcliffe
John HusseyStanley, Earl of Derby
Katherine BarkerQueen Elizabeth
Malcolm WebsterLord Mayor of London
Marshall JonesFirst Citizen
Maurice JonesEarl of Oxford
Michael RoseBishop of Ely
Peggy AshcroftQueen Margaret
Philip BrackMurderer (2)
Susan EngelQueen Elizabeth
Ted ValentineLieutnant of the Tower (Keeper of the Tower)
Terence GreenidgeSecond Citizen
William SquireDuke of Buckingham

Additional Details

Theatre
Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Theatre company
Royal Shakespeare Company
Production type
Television and Radio Drama
Historical period
Medieval
Plays
Richard III
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)
Related items
Wars of the Roses Discussion

Notes

Notes
A written transcript of the series is being held at the Birmingham Central Library as part of their Shakespeare Collection.
General
As reviewers noted, the production went beyond a mere recording of a stage play. Twelve cameras were used to record the performance of a cast of nearly seventy actors on a stage that had been extended to 40 feet to accommodate battle and crowd scenes. The intention was to give a sense of the impact of the stage production televisually. as the Times reviewer enthuses, the BBC directors managed a smooth transference, "changing their visual idiom yet not losing their integrity of meaning: a remarkable achievement".
History
Filming was done following the 1964 run of the plays at Stratford-upon-Avon, and took place in the theatre over eight weeks. The cycle was repeated in January and February 1966 when it was re-edited into eleven episodes of 50 minutes and given new titles such as The FEARFUL KING.

A five-minute programme introducing the plays was broadcast on BBC1 4 April 1965 22.05:22.10.


The trilogy was released on DVD in 2016 - see separate entry.
Figures
Reaction Index 85 - the highest ever figure for a Shakespeare play (BBC Audience Research). The Reaction Index is a measurement of the quality and success of the programme with the audience who had watched it. It is based on a range of 0 to 100.)
Textual information
The text was adapted for screenplay by John Barton.
Reviews
"A Shakespearian Experience on TV", The Times, 21.4.1965, p. 13.
Alice V. Griffin, "Shakespeare Through the Camera’s Eye: IV", Shakespeare Quarterly 17 (1966): p. 385.

Production Company

Name

BBC

Notes
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Archive

Name

BFI National Archive

Web
http://www.bfi.org.uk/archive-collections/searching-access-collections/research-viewing-services External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7255 1444
Fax
020 7436 0165
Address
21 Stephen Street
London
W1T 1LN

Record Stats

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