Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

Henry VI, Part 1 (1981, Jane Howell)

TitleHenry VI, Part 1
Release LocationsGB
DirectorJane Howell
MediumColor video
Length3 hrs, 5 mins
Audiencegeneral public
Play ConnectionsHenry VI, Part 1 (teleplay)
SeriesThe Shakespeare Plays


Not content with televising the entire Major Tetralogy (R2 through the two parts of H4 and then H5), the BBC producers then took on the immensely complicated minor tetralogy, which is comprised of the three parts of H6 plus King Richard III (see 187, 193 and 513). The inability to fit the entire cast credits into the number of bytes allocated by the MELBASE software program, which has easily handled nearly every other play in the canon, suggests the enormous size and scope of this production. Director Jane Howell, after much thought, solved the problem of sets for this epical tale, in many respects more narrative than dramatic, by borrowing from a schoolyard 'adventure playground' set as a basis for the mise en scène. The results are quite astonishing. Somehow the well-disciplined soldiers, the rhythmic martial flourishes, and this raggle-taggle collection of entrances and exits endow the performance with more heart-stopping realism than realism itself (KSR)

Description from Shakespeare on Screen : an International Filmography and Videography by Kenneth S. Rothwell and Annabelle Henkin Melzer. ©1990 Kenneth S. Rothwell. Cited by permission. — Added 2008-11-14

Cast Overview

BoyJohn Alford
Basset/Keeper/SergeantJohn Benfield
Henry VI/SingerPeter Benson
JoanBrenda Blethyn
BurgundyAntony Brown
GloucesterDavid Burke
AlenconMichael Byrne
Suffolk/GlansdalePaul Chapman
Third Messenger/PorterRon Cook
Fastolfe, MayorArthur Cox
Vernon/ ReignierDavid Daker
SomersetB. Deacon
Bedford/Mortimer/GeneralTenniel Evans
Salisbury/William Lucy/First KeeperDerek Farr
MargaretJulia Foster
Captain/First ServantDerek Fuke
TalbotA. Guard
YorkB. Hill
Second MessengerPaul Jesson
MessengerOengus MacNamara
CountessJoanna McCallum
BishopFrank Middlemass
Musicians and Soldiersnot specified
Exeter/ShepherdJoseph O'Conor
Lord TalbotTrevor Peacock
Bastard/First MessengerBrian Protheroe
OfficerDavid Pugh
CharlesIan Saynor
WarwickMark Wing-Davey
WoodvillePeter Wyatt

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorJane Howell
ProducerJonathan Miller
ComposerDudley Simpson
Fight CoordinatorMalcolm Ranson
Adaptor/TranslatorDavid Snodin
Production ManagerCorin Campbell-Hill
MakeupCherry Alston
CostumesJohn Peacock
LightingSam Barclay
SoundAlan Edmonds
ProductionOliver Bayldon
Stunt ManJim Dowdall
Stunt ManVal Musetti
Stunt ManMike Potter

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell