From Stage to Screen: Filming Shakespeare's Plays
Over the past twelve years, producer John Wyver has translated to the
television screen four acclaimed stagings of Shakespeare's plays. Three of
these have been Royal Shakespeare Company productions directed by the
company's new Artistic Director Gregory Doran: Macbeth (2000), Hamlet
(2009), with David Tennant, and Julius Caesar (2012). The fourth was another
Macbeth, with Sir Patrick Stewart, which was shown by PBS's Great
Performances in 2010.
Each of these films is shot on location using the language and techniques of
contemporary television drama. Each aims to retain an essence of the original
theatrical experience yet at the same time to create an original and dynamic
version for the screen.
In this presentation illustrated with extracts from his films, John Wyver details
his innovative approach to making films from Shakespeare's plays and
explores the possibilities and the problems within a broader historical context
of Shakespeare on screen.
Casca (Joseph Mydell), Brutus (Paterson Joseph) and Cassius (Cyril Nri) plot the
assassination in Julius Caesar.
John Wyver is a writer and producer with the independent production
company Illuminations. He has produced and directed television
documentaries and performance films for thirty years and his work has been
honoured with a BAFTA for Best Arts Programme, an International Emmy and
a Peabody Award.
He is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Westminster where he
leads the AHRC-funded research project Screen Plays: Theatre Plays on
British Television, and he is writing a history of the relationship between
television and the theatre in Britain since 1930. He also blogs regularly both
for Screen Plays (screenplaystv.wordpress.com) and for Illuminations