Shakespeare on the big screen at QUAD

Derby arts centre Quad

Photo by Graham Lucas Commons
Derby arts centre Quad Photo by Graham Lucas Commons

Shakespeare On Film is season of screenings and live performances showing at QUAD in Derby during September.

As this year marks the 400th anniversary of the writer’s death, QUAD has put together a selection of some of the best film adaptations that have been inspired by Shakespeare’s works.

The season of five films includes Coriolanus, All Night Long, King Lear, Theatre Of Blood and The Bad Sleep Well.

The first screenings are to be Coriolanus (15), on Wednesday, September 7, at 12.15pm and 6.05pm or Thursday, September 8, at 3.15pm and 8.50pm.

Ralph Fiennes made his directorial debut in 2011 with his transposition of Shakespeare’s Rome-set play Coriolanus to the mid-1990s Balkans, amid a chorus of television news pundits and up close and personal warfare. Fiennes takes the central role of banished hero among a strong supporting cast including Gerard Butler.

All Night Long is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello updating the tale to 1960s Britain and adds the jazz greats of the day - Dave Brubeck, Charlie Mingus and many more.

Aurelius Rex (Paul Harris) is happily married to Delia (Marti Stevens). Patrick McGoohan (The Prisoner) plays Johnny Cousin (this film’s Iago) who is scheming to steal Rex’s job and starts to spread rumours of Delia’s unfaithfulness. All Night Long (15) screens on Monday, September 12, at 12.15pm and 6.05pm or Tuesday, September 13, at 12.15pm and 7.30pm.

Legendary stage director Peter Brook directs his own adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy King Lear. Paul Scofield plays Lear, who, having decided to split his kingdom between his three daughters, decides to apportion the lands according to which daughter declaims her love for him best. When his daughter Cordelia refuses to flatter her father’s ego with claims of devotion, Lear angrily gives the lion’s share of his power to her sisters, Goneril and Regan. They soon abuse the trust, and Lear finds himself emasculated and powerless. King Lear (PG) screens at QUAD on September 21-22.

Theatre Of Blood, directed by Douglas Hickox, follows Edward Lionheart (Vincent Price), a classic Shakespearean actor who snaps when the critics’ barbed comments about his performances wound him. He decides to wound them back and adds murder to his repertoire, exacting revenge on the critics in the manner of Shakespeare’s more gruesome death scenes. Theatre Of Blood (15) screens at QUAD on September 23.

Akira Kurosawa’s The Bad Sleep Well is a powerful indictment of the dark side of business and politics with distinct overtones of Hamlet. The Bad Sleep Well (PG with English subtitles) screens on September 28-29.

Cinema tickets are £8.20 or £7 concessions.

Tickets can be booked by calling 01332 290606 or via www.derbyquad.co.uk.

QUAD will also have two Live screenings from Royal Shakespeare Company, Cymbeline and King Lear.

Cymbeline is a ruler of a divided Britain. When Innogen, the only living heir, marries her sweetheart in secret, an enraged Cymbeline banishes him. But a powerful figure behind the throne is plotting to seize power and murder them both. Innogen embarks on a dangerous journey that will reunite Cymbeline with a lost heir and reconcile the young lovers. Melly Still directs Shakespeare’s rarely performed romance. RSC: Cymbeline screens at QUAD on Wednesday, September 28, at 7pm.

King Lear has ruled for many years. As age begins to overtake him, he decides to divide his kingdom amongst his children, living out his days without the burden of power. Misjudging his children’s loyalty and finding himself alone in the wilderness, he is left to confront the mistakes of a life that has brought him to this point.

RSC Associate Artist Antony Sher plays King Lear, one of the greatest parts written by Shakespeare in this, one of Shakespeare’s most epic and powerful plays, directed by RSC Artist Director Gregory Doran. RSC: King Lear screens at QUAD on October 12 at 7pm.

RSC Live Tickets are £17 or £15 concessions.