Over the last few decades, directors have been trying to revitalize the works of Shakespeare to reach a modern audience. This 1969 BBC performance of Shakespeare’s classic tale of mistaken identities and cross-dressing was obviously not directed to this purpose.

Every stereotype you may have about how dry and snooty Shakespeare can seem is reinforced by this DVD. In fact, the lack of subtitles seems to reinforce the fact that if you don’t know the play already, you’ll have a really hard time understanding and enjoying the performance.

Sir Alec Guinness does a predictably strong job as Malvolio, but it just isn’t enough to make this a worthwhile buy for anyone other than a diehard Shakespeare fan.

Grade: C

Twelfth Night is currently available.