Got an Amazon Primer Membership? Don’t know what to watch? Then why not work your way through these screen adaptation of Shakespeare classics, circus, dance and musical shows.
23 shows to watch on Amazon Prime
1. King Lear
Anthony Hopkins is shouty, vulnerable and absolutely mesmerising in Richard Eyre’s BBC adaptation that cuts the play to two hours, adds helicopters and mixed martial arts, and boasts fab performances from Emma Thompson, Emily Watson, Florence Pugh, Andrew Scott and Jim Broadbent.
Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood star in Rupert Goold’s immediate and visceral adaptation of Shakespeare’s intense bloody drama. The film is set in an undefined and threatening central European world. The piece initially ran at Chichester Festival Theatre in 2007 before transferring to the West End and then to the big screen.
3. Richard II
Fiona Shaw (Killing Eve) dazzles as the incompetent king in Deborah Warner’s gender swapped production. First seen at the National Theatre in 1995, it was filmed for television in 1997 and features Graham Crowden (Calendar Girls, Foyles War) as John of Gaunt and Richard Bremmer (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) as Henry Bolingbroke.
4. Henry V
Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V is pretty much considered one of the definitive production these days, so for anyone wanting a bit of theatre magic with a dash of ’90s aesthetic then head for this.
Given it’s one of Shakespeare’s most widely performed plays it only makes sense to a have few versions to watch. Check out Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard as the Lord and Lady Macbeth in this brooding and visually beautiful adaptation by Justin Kurzel.
6. Julius Caesar
A fast-moving thriller about a struggle for democracy, William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is also a love story between twon men united by a political act of violence. Based on the RSC’s acclaimed stage production this film features Paterson Joseph, Jeffry Kissoon, Ray Fearon.
7. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Theatre royalty descend in this starry production of Shakespeare’s much loved comedy of mistaken identities, confused lovers and alarming transformations. Watch Judie Dench, Helen Mirren, Ian Richardson, Diana Rigg, Clive Swift, David Warner and MORE in Peter Hall’s acclaimed 1968 production.
8. Julius Caesar
A little less dramamtic, but certainly worth a look. Jeremy Sisto (Waitress, Frozen, FBI) stars as the ill-fated roman leader in this tv-miniseries also featuring Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter, Hairspray), Richard Harris (Gladiator, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) and Chris Noth (Sex and the City, The Good Wife).
9. Much Ado About Nothing
Shot over the space of two weeks, Joss Whedon (of Avengers fame) got a group of friends together to shoot their own take on Much Ado all in the same LA household. The results are low-fi and endearing.
10. Grease Live!
Aaron Tveit (Moulin Rouge!, LesMiserables, Catch Me If You Can), Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical) and Julianne Hough take on this classic in a one-night only musical television adaptation performed live before a studio audience. Get ready for a night with Rydell High.
11. Sweeney Todd
Tim Burton brings Stephen Sondheim’s Demon Barber of Seville to life in this brooding, quirky musical starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter and the late-great Alan Rickman. It might have the worst pies in London but it’s gold standard viewing.
An inspirational tale of two kindred spirits, this modern day musical drama is for all those romantic hearts out there.
13. Midnight Tango
Get ready for some fancy foot-work and steamy dancing as Strictly Come Dancing stars and world champion tango champions Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace perform their smash-hit sold out stage show live!
14. Kiss Me, Kate
Head back in time to this 1958 production of Kiss Me, Kate – Cole Porter’s musical version of Shakespeare comedy The Taming of the Shrew.
15. Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans
A mainstay of children’s literature over the last two decades, the Horrible Histories have gone from page to stage and now to the big screen in this comedy film adaptation starring Nick Frost, Kim Cattrall, Derek Jacobi. Sit back with the kids and enjoy this fictional comedy adventure.
16. Nativity Rocks!
Simon Lipkin, Craig Revel Horwood and Daniel Boys star in the fourth instalment of the Nativity! series.
17. Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away
In need of a circus fix – look no further than this spectacular show from the legendary performers of Cirque du Soliel.
18. Guys and Dolls
A sizzling tale of New York gamblers, gangsters and nightclub singers, this 1958 classic starring Hollywood icons Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, will leave you ‘walking on air’ (Daily Telegraph) with some of the greatest show stopping tunes, including Luck Be a Lady, Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat and My Time of Day.
19. The Last Five Years
Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick bring Jason Robert Brown’s brilliant back-to-front-to-back musical into blistering focus in this totally underrated film version of the tune-packed piece.
A sparkling fantasy of music, magic and romance, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella captivates from overture to the finale with a delightful score and stunning performances from an all-star cast featuring Ginger Rogers.
21. Oliver Twist
Enjoy this seminal Dickens adaptation, featuring Alec Guinness, Robert Newton & Anthony Newley, follow Oliver’s rags to riches journey in Victorian England.
22. Jesus Christ Superstar
Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s legendary rock musical made the jump to the big screen in 1973. Filmed entirely in the middle east, this portrayal of the last weeks of Jesus life features Ted Neeley (Jesus), Carl Andeson (Judas) and Yvonne Elliman (Mary Magdalen).
Michael Crawford stars in this musical about the iconic circus master. It was an out-and-out hit well before The Greatest Showman came along, and features some great tunes including “Join the Circus”.