In case you’re still looking for Shakespeare-related Christmas presents for your nearest and dearest (or yourself), there are plenty to choose from.
Top of my list is the DVD set of An Age of Kings, the fifteen-part BBC series from 1960 that adapted Shakespeare’s history plays for the small screen. If you regularly read these blogs you will have heard about these highly-regarded programmes already, but they are now available in time for Christmas. An Age of Kings has never been available for purchase in the UK before so it’s a great choice for an unusual gift.
Here’s the link to the Illuminations blog which includes a link to purchase the series, and another to the Movie Mail site which includes lots of information about the series and stills from the DVD, so worth a look even if you decide not to buy.
Another unusual present that’s been drawn to my attention is the series of posters published by Spineless Classics. These are tasteful and attractive posters which include a whole play on one page, beautifully designed and completely legible. The Hamlet poster features an outline of Hamlet holding the skull, with “To be, or not to be – that is the question” positioned on the page just where it comes in the play. The Merchant of Venice poster includes both the Rialto bridge and Shylock’s scales, and Romeo and Juliet a heart pierced by a dagger.
There’s even the option to buy the Complete Works of Shakespeare “on 5 majestic A0 pages” if you want to surround yourself with every word he wrote. They can still be ordered in time for Christmas.
If you’re still looking for inspiration, don’t forget the specialised shops that contain lots of Shakespeare-themed ideas. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s online shop is offering a 20% discount until 24 December if you enter TWEET20 at the checkout, and if you’re quick they are still guaranteeing delivery in time for Christmas for UK orders.
And the Royal Shakespeare Company’s online gift shop contains not just books and DVDs but several ranges of clothing, decorations, posters (including the Spineless posters) and jewellery.
Happy (online) shopping!