Acting Shakespeare

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Alone on stage, with no props or costumes, distinguished and celebrated actor Ian McKellen performs some of the most striking monologues from Shakespeare’s masterpieces. With wit and humor, McKellen continues this amazing one man show by discussing his relationship with theatre and offering a discourse on some of the greatest plays of all time.

Product Details

  • Actors: Ian McKellen
  • Directors: Kirk Browning
  • Writers: Ian McKellen, William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Andrew Susskind, David Susskind, Ricki Green
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR Not Rated
  • Studio: E1 Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • ASIN: B002SF9YMU
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Customer Reviews

Jeux d’Esprit

8 people found this helpful.
 on May 22, 2011
By C. C. Black
A delightful recital by one of our generation’s finest Shakespearean interpreters. Inevitably, McKellen’s “Acting Shakespeare” invites comparisons with John Gielgud’s “Ages of Man”; though both are live performances with minimalist staging, they are quite different in approach, each with its distinctive merits. Where Gielgud exudes gravitas, McKellan is more sprightly, taking the audience into his confidence. Not only in length but in depth, Gielgud presents much more verse, much less commentary; McKellen selects fewer readings, adding more personal narrative as connective tissue for the declamatory gems. As the Brits like to say, what you gain on the swings you lose on the roundabouts. If you love the Bard, both are well worth purchasing and enjoying frequently. For younger audiences McKellen’s is probably the better bet: he himself was younger when this was produced, and kids will likely get a kick from watching Old Gandalf at his first love. In the process he may woo some of them into loving Shakespeare, too.


 on June 5, 2016
By Pierre
Cannot get enough watching, listening or reading about Shakespeare. Look forward to any later (or previous) work from actors,directors, critics, historians on the inexhaustible subject of the Bard of Avon, his works,his times his person.

Five Stars

 on March 19, 2017
By James B Carroll
I recommend this highly, Excellent in all respects.

Phenomenal production

One person found this helpful.
 on November 16, 2013
By John Mosey
Ian Mckellen stages a one man show, simply talking to the audience, and acting short scenes from Shakespeare as he tells of his experiences as an actor. Even those who don’t like Shakespeare or understand the era’s language easily follow and get involved.

An Interesting Performance

 on January 28, 2014
By Mrs Lee
A one man show, McKellen explains how to find motivations for the performances, Then he proceeds to perform many of the longer speeches in Shakespeare. Although I prefer to see whole performances, this was certainly interesting, informative and engaging. Watching a master of the craft doing what he does best can only be good.

Praise the Lord and pass the DVD

5 people found this helpful.
 on July 30, 2011
By S. B. Minden
I will not tell you the long struggle this has been to find on DVD.

A MUST for any student of theater

 on April 23, 2014
By D. Koch
The Greats of today talk/show “how to act” from the actors point of view. Ian McKellan, Judy Dench, many others. Gives the viewer an appreciation of the craft/art of real acting. A good addition to the library of anyone interested in acting/theater.

Transformative theater

4 people found this helpful.
 on October 27, 2010
By Dena/Daniel Bugel-Shunra
I was fortunate enough to catch this production live, in 1983.

Five Stars

 on January 9, 2017
By Kathleen S. Slagle

Sir Ian, Sir Ian, Sir Ian…

One person found this helpful.
 on December 7, 2012
By Gide Wilder
McKellan’s acting advice to Ricky Gervais in Extras was hilarious, but not as funny as this. Truly a one man show worth everyone watching. The image quality and sound are both wanting but not unexpected given the provenance. Five thumbs up.

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