7 user 4 critic

Playing Shakespeare 

John Barton holds a master class in how to play Shakespeare, using members of the RSC doing scenes, sonnets, and commentary as prime examples.

On Disc

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Complete series cast summary:
John Barton John Barton ...  Himself 9 episodes, 1982
David Suchet ...  Himself 7 episodes, 1982
Lisa Harrow ...  Herself 6 episodes, 1982
Alan Howard ...  Himself 6 episodes, 1982
Ben Kingsley ...  Himself 5 episodes, 1982
Michael Pennington ...  Himself 5 episodes, 1982
Patrick Stewart ...  Himself 5 episodes, 1982
Susan Fleetwood ...  Herself 4 episodes, 1982
Sheila Hancock ...  Herself 4 episodes, 1982


In 1979 Trevor Nunn, then artistic director of Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company, devised a two-part television workshop to consider the art and technique of acting in Shakespeare's plays. He was joined by RSC co-founder and Associate Director John Barton and a group of the leading actors of the day, including Alan Howard, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Jane Lapotaire, David Suchet, Michael Pennington and Terry Hands. The programs were co-produced with London Weekend Television and broadcast on consecutive Sunday evenings as part of the South Bank Show series, collectively titled "Word of Mouth." Four years later Mr. Barton greatly expanded the series with nine additional installments, which he hosted. To the roster of actors were added Tony Church, Sinead Cusak, Mike Gwilym, Susan Fleetwood, Sheila Hancock, Lisa Harrow, Ben Kingsley, Barbara Leigh-Hunt, Richard Pasco, Norman Rodway and Donald Sinden. Three episodes featured extended turns by leading lights Judi Dench, Roger Rees ... Written by John Chapot

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Release Date:

29 July 1982 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK

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Technical Specs

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User Reviews

When, oh when, will this be available on DVD?
11 July 2006 | by madjack71See all my reviews

I had the opportunity to see this series when I was in college. I was rehearsing a production of Julius Caesar, and my director hosted a get together at his apartment, where we watched several episodes that he had taped. Since then, I've been waiting in vain for the opportunity to watch the entire series. I have yet to find another book or documentary that equals this series as a guide either to performing Shakespeare or to acting in general. Having such high-caliber Royal Shakespeare Company talent as Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Ben Kingsley, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Dame Judi Dench, Patrick Stewart and David Suchet performing the Bard's work ensures that the series is highly entertaining as well as instructive.

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