Running Jan. 9-31, 2016, in the Barbican's Cinemas 1 & 2, the season runs in parallel with the RSC's residency in the main house of its Great Cycle of Kings plays.
Nine film titles have been selected from the huge archive of RSC work captured onstage or re-conceived for film and television. These include Trevor Nunn's iconic 1979 production of "Macbeth" with Ian McKellen and Judi Dench (to be screened Jan. 9, 3 PM); Peter Hall's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1959) with Charles Laughton as Bottom in a rarely-seen partial recording of Hall’s staging (on Jan. 10, 4 PM); the 1965 films of "The War of the Roses" series of "Henry VI" (Jan 11, noon), "Edward IV" (Jan. 11, 3 PM), "Richard III" (Jan. 12); "Othello" (Jan. 17) in Trevor Nunn's 1990 production wtih Ian McKellen, Willard White, Imogen Stubbs and Zoe Wanamaker, "As You Like It" (Jan. 19, 6 PM), featuring Vajessa Redgrave as Rosalind in a 1963 production, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (Jan. 24, 3 PM) in a 1994 production with Lindsay Duncan, Alex Jennings and Desmond Barrit, and Gregory Doran's 2009 production of "Hamlet" (Jan. 31, 2 PM), filmed on location in an abandoned seminary in North London, with David Tennant in the title role.
In a press statement, John Wyver, RSC Director of Screen Productions who is curating the season, commented, "The RSC Shakespeare on Screen season showcases some of the great performances of the British theatre from the past 50 years and more, and it highlights numerous imaginative contributions of the RSC’s creative teams to the art of adapting Shakespeare to the screen. We are showing some productions from the BBC archives that have been newly restored, and indeed many of these screen versions have hardly been seen since they were first shown. It's thrilling to present these at the start of the year that marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, and to think that RSC productions from as long ago as 50 years can once again excite and involve and delight audiences today."
Questions about the RSC’s involvement with film and television and the challenges of translating stage productions to the screen will be discussed with current RSC artistic director Gregory Doran as part of a panel discussion hosted by Judith Buchanan (Jan. 10, 2 PM).
Two Shakespearean titles will also be screened as part of the Barbican's Silent Film and Live Music series, "Hamlet" (1920) and "The Merchant of Venice" (1923) with live music accompaniment. For further details or to book tickets, contact the box office on 845 120 7511 or visit www.barbican.org.uk.