Faced with the prospect of a dreary peace, Macbeth the triumphant warrior goes for the main prize: King Duncan’s crown. It is an exhilarating adaptation of Shakespeare’s great tragedy but I feel that the emphasis is sometimes misplaced or even absent. For example, Lady Macduff’s ‘I have done no harm’ speech, usually the most moving in the whole play, is delivered while she’s on the run from murderers. They can’t hear her, we wonder why she’s starting a conversation. Run faster, woman.
Peter’s healing develops naturally through the chapters, and ultimately makes The Bookman’s Tale an immensely satisfying and pleasurable read that combines a range of genres and above all else, celebrates the beauty and wonder of the literary word.
The story of William and Anne – and how they balance their lives between the domestic, the theatre, and the grander sweep of history and immortality is a powerful one that drives the reading forward towards a conclusion that, if foregone, is still one that hints at a story with much more to come.
All in all, Shakepeare Retold is an excellent set of DVDs providing rich entertainment complex enough for multiple viewings and entertaining enough to engage viewers away from all other distractions. Drama like this is rare enough without the added enjoyment of Shakepearean…