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Classics on TV: Jacobean Tragedy on the Small Screen

Women Beware Women + Panel & Q&A with Gregory Doran and Dame Diana Rigg

Tightly effective studio adaptation of Thomas Middleton’s drama of illicit desire, followed by a discussion.

Blood and Thunder. Granada 1965
Directed by Gordon Flemyng
With Diana Rigg, William Gaunt, Gene Anderson, Karin Fernald
Running time 73 min

‘A thundering production,’ wrote Mary Crozier in the Guardian about this tightly effective studio adaptation of Thomas Middleton’s drama of illicit desire. There had been no modern staging before a 1962 Royal Shakespeare Company presentation, so this was a bold choice for Granada. Diana Rigg stars, just before she debuted as The Avengers’ Emma Peel, and Gordon Flemyng’s cameras make the most of grilles, screens and staircases to conjure a rich visual style for the fiercely melodramatic action.

We are delighted to welcome a panel including Diana Rigg and the Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Gregory Doran (both work permitting) to discuss Jacobean tragedy on television. Illustrated with clips from such works as the rarely seen Women Beware Women (BBC-Open University 1981), the session will be chaired by producer and season curator John Wyver, whose recent TV credits include Macbeth and Julius Caesar.

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