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Playing Shakespeare (mini-series) - The RSC Production with Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Ben Kingsley & David Suchet on DVD

4-disc collection coming from Athena (the new Acorn Media line) on June 2nd

Posted by David Lambert
    Playing Shakespeare, an intimate acting workshop with Britain's top stars, debuts on home video from Athena on June 2, 2009. Led by the Royal Shakespeare Company's John Barton, the series features nine master classes on Shakespearean performance with 21 of Britain's finest actors, including Oscar® winners Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love, Iris), Ben Kingsley (Gandhi, Schindler's List), and Peggy Ashcroft (A Passage to India), Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings, Gods and Monsters), Patrick Stewart (X-Men), and David Suchet (Agatha Christie's Poirot). The enlightening series aired on PBS in the mid-1980s and its companion book remains a popular acting guide to this day. Bonus features include a 20-page viewer's guide and exclusive extras that take the educational experience beyond the screen.

    Playing Shakespeare is one of the first releases in the Athena line, Acorn Media Group's new home video brand for consumers interested in lifelong learning through documentary programming. Anyone who has ever appreciated Shakespeare will find startling new insights in these nine intensive acting workshops. In an intimate, informal setting, the Royal Shakespeare Company's John Barton shares ideas with 21 world-renowned performers. Together they explore hidden direction in the verse, character motivations, and fresh approaches to classic speeches. Recorded in 1982 for London Weekend Television, the classes also feature Sinéad Cusack, Susan Fleetwood, Sheila Hancock, Alan Howard, Donald Sinden, Michael Williams, and more. Associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company for more than 35 years, John Barton has directed more than 50 productions there. He received the 2001 Sam Wanamaker Award from Shakespeare's Globe for his distinguished work.
Acorn Media is introducing a new label, the Athena line of titles. Among the first releases is Playing Shakespeare, the 1982 UK mini-series which ran for 9 episodes and featured many classic actors and actresses from Britain's acclaimed Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). The running time is 456 minutes, and the 4-disc set includes English subtitles. Bonus material includes Actor Biographies and RSC Stage Credits, Exclusive Web Extras, and a 20-page viewer's guide with highlights, questions to consider, avenues for further learning, a history of the RSC, and "Vocabulary of Verse & Stage." Cost is $79.99 SRP, and it ships on June 2nd. Package art is below:

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Playing Shakespeare (mini-series)

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