DVD News: The 1981 version of "The Woman in White" is now available from the BBC Shop and from Movie-mail. At time of writing, the BBC had run out and were expecting more copies in, but Movie-mail still had some in stock. Ian appears in both this version and the later version, but the 1981 series is much the better version.
Also look out for Japlick's tribute on YouTube, which was filmed behind the scenes during the making of Murder Rooms in 2001.
Six Centuries of Verse is now available on DVD, but, mysteriously, it has to be imported from the USA by amazon.co.uk. They warn of possible import duties. Hopefully, it will soon be available in the UK.
Hoorah! The most requested, long delayed series is finally here.
A DVD set of Noel Coward productions is available from amazon and other outlets. It includes many famous names, and includes Ian's film of Star Quality. On the amazon site you can see the contents on each of the discs. Thanks to Anne G for this.
You can find DVDs of The Gravy Train and The Gravy Train Goes East on amazon.com. It is another of the British series that for some reason is so far only available in the US format. Fortunately, most DVD players in the UK can be set to play any region - check yours before ordering.
You can download Ian's recordings of Saki stories. As far as I can ascertain, they are not available to buy in stores, only through this link (thanks to Sharon M). If you have never read these stories, they are very funny indeed - witty and wicked. Saki (H.H. Munro) was writing in the early part of the last century, and his work continues popular to this day, at least in England. An excellently cast and well produced TV series in the mid-1980s proved highly popular and introduced Saki's work to a new generation. The stories are ideally suited to Ian Richardson's delivery.
As the BBC admit, it is not often they return to a programme that has already been mentioned in their Choices column, but they have done so in the Radio Times (page 132 of issue dated 28th April) for Ian's reading of Shadowlands. This reading is astonishing, more powerful than any of the versions I have seen on stage and film. It is fitting that Ian's last two performances are radio productions, for which he had not previously been well known. Both Shadowlands and Accolades are triumphs. Shadowlands will surely be seen as one of Ian's great achievements. With his last magnificent performance on stage in The Alchemist, it can be seen he was still at the height of his powers. See the On-line Articles page for related items by Brian Sibley, who wrote the book and adaptation of Shadowlands.
Two of Ian's recordings that have been unavailable for years are now out on CD. Both are musicals: "Trelawny", in which Ian plays Tom Wrench, with Hayley Mills as Trelawny, and a remastered My Fair Lady, in which he plays Higgins. (The latter was the 20th Anniversary Production that played on Broadway. Trelawny is a musical adaptation of Pinero's Trelawny of the Wells.) They are available on Amazon. You should also be able to order them through record stores.
Ian received another honorary doctorate, this time from the University of Stirling. (Thanks, Sharon M.) See On-line articles."That" (FU) quote is also included in I Wish I'd Said That, an excellent collection edited by Ned Sherrin.
Great DVD news:
The 1987 version of George Bernard Shaw's The Devil's Disciple, with Ian and Patrick Stewart has been released.
Ian gave one of his finest screen performances as Nehru in Mountbatten - the Last Viceroy. It is a good film, but all Ian's scenes are superb - order your copy now!
A Midsummer night's Dream, with Ian as Oberon, was released March 2005. As far as I can see, it has as yet been released for Region 1 only. Most DVD players now sold in the UK are multi-region, but check yours first if in doubt. This is a gorgeous film, with a mouth-watering cast. As well as Ian's splendid Berowne, the cast includes Judi Dench as his Queen, Titania, Ian Holm as Puck, and Helen Mirren, David Warner, Diana Rigg and Michael Jayston as the lovers. Delicious performances, too, from the marvellous Clive Swift (Snug) and Barbara Jefford as Queen Hippolita. This is the production directed by Peter Hall, which I never saw on stage. Last time I saw it (on video), I was amazed at how young they all were! Look for Ian's name, because there are several different versions of the play on sale.
Look out for the video of The Life of Shakespeare, presented and narrated by Ian, and with the voice of Dame Judi Dench.
Ian wrote the introduction to Starring Sherlock Holmes, which includes an section on his Holmes films. This is a very handsome book, beautifully illustrated. I have not read it, but leafing through it, it looks likely to delight any fan of Ian's, and any Holmes' addicts. Publisher, Titan Books, London, author David Stuart Davies, hardback rrp £29.99.
Warning: incorrect attribution -