Shakespeare in Love
Director: John Madden
Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth, Ben Affleck, Judi Dench, Rupert Everett, Simon Callow, Jim Carter, Martin Clunes, Antony Sher, Imelda Staunton, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Williams.
Central England: Many historic sites were used including Broughton Castle in Oxfordshire, Hatfield House in Hertfordshire and the final scenes were Holkham Beach in Norfolk.
London: Various locations including the Middle Temple Great Hall, Spitalfields, Barts Hospital and Marble Hill Palace.
Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard wrote the screenplay for John Madden’s 1998 romantic drama/comedy ‘Shakespeare in Love’. The film tells a largely fictitious story, but does use characters from real life and also makes liberal use of plot devices and allusions to various Shakespeare plays. The story focuses on William Shakespeare’s forbidden love for Viola de Lesseps, the daughter of a wealthy merchant. Joseph Fiennes plays Shakespeare and Gwynneth Paltrow his lover in this highly acclaimed film that became the first (and only) comedy to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards, since Woody Allen’s classic Annie Hall won the award in 1977. The lead roles are supported by an all star cast featuring Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth, Ben Affleck, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Imelda Staunton, Rupert Everett and Martin Clunes. Shakespeare’s love for Viola develops when she auditions for a role in his new play Romeo and Juliet. She is forced to disguise herself as a man to get the role, as females were forbidden to act on the stage at that time. Unfortunately, Viola is destined to marry Lord Wessex (Colin Firth) and hence their love affair is a secretive and forbidden one. In the end Shakespeare is powerless to stop her from going to America with Lord Wessex and decides to immortalise her character in ‘Twelfth Night’. Shakespeare has always been a major attraction for both visitors to Britain and the native Brits alike. Stratford-upon-Avon, set in the beautiful countryside of rural Warwickshire, is the birthplace of Shakespeare and the very heart of Shakespeare related tourism. Still retaining the rustic charm and much of the architecture from the time of Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon would be worth visiting for its beauty alone, even if no famous bard had lived there! There are regular events to celebrate the playwright and all year round local theatres show his plays. The county of Warwickshire is a historic county that is central to much of English history in the previous millennium. The river scenes are shot at Barnes in London, whilst the ‘Middle Temple’ and the ‘Great Hall’ scenes are filmed at Broughton Castle in Banbury, Oxfordshire. Visitors to Broughton Castle can enjoy not only the beautiful house, but also the fabulous gardens and picturesque surrounding woodlands. The scene at St Bartholomew the Great is shot at Smithfield, Holborn in Central London. The final scene takes place on the beach at Holkham Hall and Estate in Norfolk.
A Picture of Britain