My Favorite Shakespeare Performances

I am not a Shakespeare scholar, but I have read every Shakespeare play (most of them many times) and seen each performed at least once (on stage, television, or as a movie). I make no pretense of being an expert but I know what I like. So here, in alphabetical order (and with “live” productions in italics), is a list of my favorite version of each Shakespeare play (subject to change, of course, as I see several new ones every year).


A Midsummer Night’s Dream (pictured; Globe Theater, Emma Rice, director, 2016)
All’s Well That Ends Well (Globe Theater, John Dove, director, 2011)
Antony and Cleopatra (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 2005)
As You Like It (Kevin Branagh, director, 2006)
Coriolanus (Ralph Fiennes, director, 2011)
Cymbeline (Michael Almereyda, director, 2014)
Hamlet (Franco Zeffirelli, director, 1990)
Henry IV, Part I (Hollow Crown, 2012)
Henry IV, Part II (Hollow Crown, 2012)
Henry V (Kenneth Branagh, director, 1989)
Henry VI, Part I (Hollow Crown, 2016)*
Henry VI, Part II (Hollow Crown, 2016)*
Henry VI, Part III (Hollow Crown, 2016)*
Henry VIII (Simulcast, Mark Rosenblatt, director, 2014)
Julius Caesar (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, director, 1953)
King John (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 2010)
King Lear (PBS, Richard Eyre, director, 1998)
Love’s Labour’s Lost (Royal Shakespeare Company, Christopher Luscombe, director, 2014)
Macbeth (Royal Shakespeare Company, Trevor Nunn, director, 1978)
Measure for Measure (TV Movie, Desmond Davis, director, 1979)
Merry Wives of Windsor (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 2009)
Much Ado about Nothing (Kenneth Branagh, director, 1993)
Othello (Oliver Parker, director, 1995)
Pericles (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 2003)
Richard II (Hollow Crown, 2012)
Richard III (Hollow Crown, 2016)
Romeo and Juliet (Franco Zeffirelli, director, 1968)
The Comedy of Errors (Globe Theater, Blanche McIntyre, director, 2014)
The Merchant of Venice (Michael Radford, director, 2004)
The Taming of the Shrew (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 2003)
The Tempest (Belgrade Studio, Coventry, England, 1995)
The Winter’s Tale (Simulcast, Kenneth Branagh, director, 2015)
Timon of Athens (TV Movie, Jonathan Miller, director, 1981)
Titus Andronicus (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 2005)
Troilus and Cressida (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 2003)
Twelfth Night (Belasco Theater, Globe production, 2015)
Two Gentlemen of Verona (Simulcast, RSC, Simon Godwin, director, 2014)

* These three plays were combined into two Hollow Crown episodes


About writerhoss

I am a writer from southwestern Ohio, and a frequent speaker at churches, conferences, and retreats. My books include The Bard and the Bible (A Shakespeare Devotional).
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