No theatre company has been involved in such a broad range of adaptations for television and cinema as the Royal Shakespeare Company. Starting with Richard III filmed in the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre before World War One, the RSC's accomplishments continue today with highly successful live cinema broadcasts. The Wars of the Roses (BBC, 1965), Peter Brook's film of King Lear (1971), Channel 4's epic version of Nicholas Nickleby (1982) and Hamlet with David Tennant (BBC, 2009) are among their most iconic adaptations. Many other RSC productions live on as extracts in documentaries, as archival recordings, in trailers and in other fragmentary forms.
Screening the Royal Shakespeare Company explores this remarkable history of collaborations between stage and screen and considers key questions about adaptation that concern all those involved in theatre, film and television. John Wyver is a broadcasting historian and the producer of RSC Live from Stratford-upon-Avon, and is uniquely well-placed to provide a vivid account of the company's television and film productions. He contributes an award-winning practitioner's insight into screen adaptation's numerous challenges and rich potential.