Henry IV, Part 2 – Video, Screencaps & Reviews

The Hollow Crown: Henry IV: Part 2, BBC Two, review – from The Telegraph

The Hollow Crown: Henry IV Part 2, BBC Two
Irons’s ailing king steals Shakespearean diptych
– from The Arts Desk

The Hollow Crown: Henry IV Part 2 continued the series in brilliant fashion – from Metro.co.uk

Review: The Hollow Crown – Henry IV Part 2 – from The Yorker

The Hollow Crown, Henry IV Part Two. B.B.C. Television Review – from LS Media – The Independent Liverpool Student Newspaper

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The Hollow Crown – As good as TV Shakespeare can get?

From the Guardian.co.uk

The Hollow Crown: as good as TV Shakespeare can get?

The BBC’s new Shakespeare films, starting this weekend with Richard II, show that the Bard can play as well on TV as in the theatre

During TV conferences and festivals, at least one delegate always argues that Shakespeare, if he were around today, would be writing EastEnders or Holby City. This claim is based on the fact that theatre, at the time Shakespeare’s plays were written, was a mass audience form rather than the relatively elitist entertainment it has become; and also, more subtly, on the contention that the playwright’s fondness for parallel plots and cross-cutting to some extent anticipates screen narrative.

And yet, despite these affinities, Will has always tested the will of TV producers. The BBC TV Shakespeare – a late 1970s attempt to film all 37 plays as an educational tool – became a headline calamity, helping to establish Clive James’s reputation as a critic through his pitiless Observer reviews of shaking scenery and stagey acting. The original production of Much Ado About Nothing (starring Penelope Keith and Michael York) was never transmitted because, according to the minutes of BBC management meetings I have seen, it was considered such a failure.

The original producer, the late Cedric Messina, left the project and Jonathan Miller came in as an emergency replacement. Miller steadied the shipwreck – with productions including John Cleese as a brilliant Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew – and it’s good to have a permanent record of, for example, Derek Jacobi’s Hamlet. But, in general, the experience cemented the view that Shakespeare is a weapon to be deployed on television only when particular performances called to be immortalised – Laurence Olivier’s King Lear and Ian McKellen’s and Judi Dench’s Macbeths on ITV, Patrick Stewart’s Macbeth by the BBC – or when there is a special occasion, such as BBC licence fee renegotiation or, this summer, as part of the Cultural Olympiad alongside the London Games.

Bringing together four of the Shakesperean English history plays under a group of high-class stage directors, The Hollow Crown begins this weekend on BBC2 and marks a significant advance in the medium’s fight with this writer.

The troubled BBC Complete Shakespeare taught several lessons – that not all of the works merit the attention of the audience; that studio recordings create an uneasy limbo between theatre and TV; that the pace and fluidity of made-for-TV dramas can make stage plays seem slow and staid; and that it is vital to have an overall producer who understands both Shakespeare and film.

The Hollow Crown brings a full set of ticks to this checklist. Present from the start, rather than parachuted in as Jonathan Miller was, Sam Mendes has executive produced the series, while also presiding over another English cultural icon: the new James Bond movies.

And this BBC TV Shakespeare is sensibly restricted to a discrete and particular 9% or so of the collected works. The linked sequence of Richard II (directed by Rupert Goold), Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 (filmed by Sir Richard Eyre) and Henry V (under Thea Sharrock’s direction) tell a sequential story, with recurring characters and so have a structural similarity with the four-part family drama, a staple of TV fiction. In this sense, The Hollow Crown can be seen as a relative of The Tudors, though with significantly better dialogue.

Mendes and his directors have also assimilated the wisdom of TV property shows: what matters in filming Shakspeare is location, location, location. Instead of a studio mediaeval England formed from hardboard, we get actual castles, taverns and forests.

The two productions that I have so far seen – Richard II and the first part of Henry IV – also convincingly show that, rather than being a triumph over limitations, filmed Shakespeare has some advantages over theatrical versions. In the often-bewildering opening scene of Richard II, which begins with a list of characters and their achievements, Goold’s camera can simply close in on the noble being mentioned, easily establishing characters in a way that, in the theatre, would require much fumbling with a programme in the dark.

And, in Henry IV, Eyre employs every trick of cinematic fluidity to match the quick flow of modern screen drama: cross-cutting and dissolving between the three main locations (the court, the rebels, Falstaff’s dens) and turning soliloquies into their natural screen equivalent of voice-overs.

Another benefit of television is the available cast: because it isn’t asking for a three-month run or global tour to make the budget back, The Hollow Crown simultaneously retains a group of actors that even the most famous theatres could only accumulate over several seasons. Theatre-goers have long anticipated Simon Russell Beale’s eventual Falstaff but he gives it here first: cloud-bearded and earthy, a portrait of ambition and intelligence chiselled away by appetite. And, if SRB does play Falstaff in the theatre, it is highly unlikely, for budgetary and logistical reasons, to be in a company that also includes Julie Walters, Lindsay Duncan, David Suchet and David Morrissey.

There remains a basic flaw in the theory that because Shakepeare was a populist writer in his time, he should naturally suit TV now: the mainstream television audience, often made suspicious of classic theatre by education and school theatre outings, would take much persuasion to tune in to these dramas. But, despite that caveat, The Hollow Crown feels as good as TV Shakespeare is going to get.

Radio Times – Kings of Cool

Thank you to scarletthammer on Tumblr for the scans.

Radio Times 30 June -6 July 2012

Kings of Cool – Classic Shakespeare with Britain’s biggest stars

Click on the images for full size:

Telegraph Review – At home with the histories

From artyprettykipple on Tumblr

Click on the image for full size and to read the text:

Jeremy Irons Bobsledding in St. Moritz – Photo Gallery

Scroll down for slide show and photo gallery.

“Cowboy boots, curious as a child, happy to go 135 km/h…”

[Google Translated from Italian...]

ST.MORITZ – It was an impromptu, no one knew. Not even the staff of the track by Bob in St. Moritz. Sunday afternoon at the counter of the Info-Point’s Olympia Bob Run occurred Jeremy Irons, the English film star who has starred in Hollywood, among others, “Mission,” “Stealing Beauty”, “The Iron Mask” and “Die Hard 2 – Die Hard”. Really hard, in fact, jumped the track at 135 km / h with Bob.

Jeremy is a very approachable person. It is pleasantly entertained with the staff of the runway, pilots, and the people present. A little ‘agitation at the start, but when he returned the truck, along with Bob and bobbisti, was enthusiastic. With his boots Cow Boy, wanted at all costs push the truck from Bob at the start of the track.

He wanted to know all the details that are experienced during a descent. The pilot historian Donald Holstein gave technical and scientific explanations. Jeremy enjoyed himself. The Director of the track Roberto Triulzi (pictured): “An actor, a planetary star, but really genuine.”

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‘Henry IV’ Starring Jeremy Irons – Definitive Cast List

From the BBC Media Centre:

The definitive cast list for the BBC Two Shakespeare films including Henry IV (Parts I and II) has been confirmed.

Featuring some of the greatest Shakespearean actors and directors of our time, four films have been commissioned by BBC Two for their Shakespeare season in 2012 as part of the BBC’s contribution to the London 2012 Festival and the Cultural Olympiad. The films were commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning and Janice Hadlow, Controller BBC Two.

Set in the medieval period, these bold adaptations of four of Shakespeare’s most acclaimed history plays will produce some of the most ambitious television of recent years. As principal photography begins on Henry V, the previously announced Kings – Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston – will be joined by a phenomenal ensemble cast.

Ben Whishaw said: “Playing Richard II has been a hugely rewarding experience. Working on this beautiful play with Rupert Goold and an amazing cast has been one of the most magical and memorable experiences of my career.”

Jeremy Irons said: “I am most grateful to have this opportunity of returning to Shakespeare, to film under the experienced eye of Richard Eyre, alongside such exciting actors.”

Tom Hiddleston said: “I am incredibly proud and privileged to be playing Prince Hal and Henry V in these new adaptations. He was one of England’s great kings and one of Shakespeare’s great men, and it is an extraordinary honour to have been asked to play him. I will be steeped in mud, blood, and warrior poetry for the next four months, led by two of the greatest directors working today, alongside a group of actors I have admired and respected all my life. I can’t wait.”

Henry IV (Parts I and II)

The second and third films will see Jeremy Irons (The Borgias) playing Henry IV, supported by Tom Hiddleston (Thor) as Prince Hal. Simon Russell Beale (Spooks) will play Falstaff and Julie Walters (Mamma Mia, Mo) will play Mistress Quickly. Hotspur will be played by Joe Armstrong (Robin Hood) and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) is to play Lady Percy alongside Maxine Peake (Criminal Justice) as Doll Tearsheet. Lady Northumberland will be played by Niamh Cusack (A Touch of Frost) with Alun Armstrong (New Tricks) as Northumberland. Reece Shearsmith (The League Of Gentlemen) will play the role of Davy, Tom Georgeson (Notes on a Scandal) will play Bardolph, Pistol will be played by Paul Ritter (Friday Night Dinner) and Douglas Henshall (South Riding) will play Mowbray. Iain Glen (Downton Abbey) will play Warwick and Geoffrey Palmer (As Time Goes By) will play Lord Chief Justice.

Completing the confirmed cast of Henry IV are Henry Faber, James Laurenson, David Hayman, Robert Pugh, Alex Clatworthy, Stephen McCole, David Dawson, Ian Conningham and Nick Jones.

Henry IV Production Designer is Donal Woods (Downton Abbey, Cranford). Director of Photography is Ben Smithard (Cranford) with Annie Symons (Gideon’s Daughter, The Crimson Petal and the White) as Costume Designer.

Henry IV is directed and adapted for the screen by Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal, Iris). Filming on Henry IV will begin in January 2012.

Jeremy Irons to do Henry IV for BBC

Jeremy Irons takes lead in BBC2′s new Henry IV adaptation – from Guardian.co.uk

Jeremy Irons is set to film Shakespeare’s Henry IV, parts 1 and 2, as part of the BBC’s 2012 Shakespeare Season, directed by Richard Eyre.

Irons will feature alongside Tom Hiddleston as Prince Hal and Simon Russell Beale as Falstaff in Henry IV. Hiddleston will then take the lead role in Henry V, which along with Richard II forms part of the BBC cycle of Shakespeare’s history plays to be broadcast in 2012.

Henry IV will be directed by Sir Richard Eyre, the former director of the National Theatre, with Thea Sharrock taking directing duties on Henry V, which goes into production later this year. Henry IV is due to begin filming in January.

Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes has also signed up to helm four new versions of Shakespeare’s history plays for the BBC, it has been announced.

Mendes will be executive producer of Richard II, Henry IV parts I and II, and Henry V as part of a special season devoted to the Bard planned for 2012. They will be shown on BBC2.

The BBC’s 2012 Shakespeare season will be produced by Neal Street Productions with American partners NBC Universal and WNET.

Involving some of the most pre-eminent Shakespearian actors and directors of our time, the films will consist of bold adaptations of Richard II, Henry IV Parts I and II and Henry V, set in the Medieval period and filmed on locations around the UK and Europe. These four films will be linked to the Cultural Olympiad of 2012.

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More details from the Daily Mail:

Producers will be Rupert Ryle Hodges and executive producers Gareth Neame, Pippa Harris and Sam Mendes.

Julie Walters is in discussions to pull a pint or two as landlady of the infamous Boar’s Head Tavern.

Richard Eyre and Thea Sharrock would like the actress to play Mistress Quickly in Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 and Henry V, all of which are being filmed for BBC2 to be screened as part of next year’s cultural Olympiad.

The award-winning Ms Walters has agreed to do the project, but it’s a question of making the filming dates work.

Michelle Dockery, who has found much-deserved fame as Lady Mary in Downton Abbey, is being  approached about playing Lady Percy, Hotspur’s wife, in the Henry IV films.

Joe Armstrong is in negotiations to play Hotspur, and there’s a plan afoot to try to get his father Alun Armstrong to play the Duke of Northumberland — Hotspur’s father. As I told you a while back, Tom Hiddleston is playing Prince Hal, in the two Henry IV dramas, and Henry V.

Richard Eyre will direct the Henry IV films (more than four hours of drama in total).

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