Although the blog to date has been largely concerned with adaptations through to the 1960s, Screen Plays as a research project is interested in the presentation of stage plays on screen right up to the present day. One of the most recent is the Illuminations film of Macbeth, screened on the BBC at the end of 2010 and for which I was the co-producer (with Sebastian Grant). After too long a wait for all of us, Macbeth is released today on DVD (with a Blu-ray about a week away). You can buy copies here or via the usual outlets like Amazon, Moviemail and so forth.
The film, which stars Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood, is directed by Rupert Goold and based on his stage production that was originally presented at the Chichester Festival Theatre. It locates the play in a twentieth-century totalitarian state with echoes of the world beyond the Iron Curtain. Both stage production and film were very highly praised.
Students of stage plays on screen may be interested that I blogged the production process through the shoot and afterwards, and the following links may give a sense of one path for an ambitious film version of a stage play to reach the screen.
• Blogging the Bard II: Macbeth: a page with further links to each of the day’s posts while we were filming at Welbeck Abbey in November 2009.
• Macbeth with Sir Patrick Stewart – the Scottish play from stage to screen: a BBC blog by me about the production process.
• Macbeth in the Paris – and on PBS: the film was co-produced by WNET13 and the PBS series Great Performances, and it premiered in the United States in October 2010; this post by Seb Grant is about the first screening, but it also features a selection of the Twitter reaction during the PBS broadcast.
• ‘…and last, the hearty welcome’ [Updated]: a selection of the press reaction.
• Debate – should theatre be on television?: a lengthy but (I hope) interesting discussion for The Arts Desk between the producer Harry Burton and myself.