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SILENT SHAKESPEARE consists of KING JOHN (GB 1899), THE TEMPEST (GB 1908), A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (USA 1909), KING LEAR (Italy 1910), TWELFTH NIGHT(USA 1910), THE MERCHANT OF VENICE (Italy 1910) and RICHARD III (GB 1911). With the text so central to Shakespeare’s work the very phrase ‘Silent Shakespeare’ seems a contradiction in terms. But in the early years of cinema, a number of exquisite silent film adaptations of Shakespeare’s work were made, with the narrative delicately conveyed through looks, gestures, and silent film’s nearest approach to dialogue, the inter-title.
For this screening, we welcome renowned accompanist Neil Brand.