This 4-DVD collection embraces some of Shakespeare's most 'regal rogues and some of his most roguish kings'. The stagings of Henry VIII and Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, all made their premieres at the Globe Theatre in the 2010 season. Rebellion and maturity run through Shakespeare's histories like a single twisted thread, exemplified by the tearaway-turned-hero Hal and his forever adolescent associate Falstaff, who deserves and gets a comedy to himself in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Lives real and imagined, nobles and beggars, Tudor history and culture all spring to vivid life on the stage of the Globe Theatre in award-winning productions featuring many fine British actors and original music played by an authentic Shakespearean pit band.
DVD 1-2 Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 - starring Roger Allam, Jamie Parker, Dominic Dromgoole (director)
DVD 3 - Henry VIII - Dominic Rowan, Ian McNeice, Kate Duchene, Miranda Raison, Anthony Howell, Mark Rosenblatt (director)
DVD 4 The Merry Wives of Windsor (Recorded live at Shakespeare's Globe, August 2010) - Christopher Benjamin, Philip Bird, Sue Wallace, Gregory Gudgeon, Michael Garner, Serena Evans, Ceri-Lyn Cissone, Sarah Woodward, Nathan Amzi, Peter Gale, Andrew Havill, Jonty Stephens, Paul Woodson, Barnaby Edwards, William Belchambers, Gerard McCarthy, Christopher Luscombe (director)
Running Time: 10 hr 59 min
'Henry IV is the Shakespeare play that's perfectly suited to the Globe. In Dominic Dromgoole's intelligent, faithful and entertaining new production, Sir John Falstaff, that "sweet creature of bombast", might have stopped for a pint of sack in Southwark en route for a rendezvous with Doll Tearsheet at the Boar's Head.' (The Guardian on Henry IV)
'It is the first time these wonderful plays [Henry IV Parts 1 and 2] have been staged at the reconstructed globe and it may be one of this theatre's finest achievements.' (The Telegraph on Henry IV).
'Sumptuous costumes and a poisonous Cardinal Wolsey.' (The Telegraph on Henry VIII)
'Amanda Lawrence's triple whammy of splendid cameos add up to a brilliant bluff-calling device.' (The Independant on Henry VIII)
'Audiences tend to adore this play, in which Shakespeare genially celebrates his own middle-class English provincial background and seeks to do nothing more than entertain - which he does, splendidly. The Merry Wives, with its ridiculous foreigners, jealous husbands and scenes of low farce, keeps you chuckling almost throughout.' (The Telegraph on the Merry Wives of Windsor)