(Check Your Local Listings)
“The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses” is a lavish three-part miniseries coming to Great Performances on three consecutive Sundays beginning December 11 at 9 p.m. (check your local listings). The event includes epic film versions of Henry VI (in two parts) and Richard III.
The series features some of the UK’s finest acting talent including Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III, Tom Sturridge as Henry VI, Sophie Okonedo as Queen Margaret, Hugh Bonneville as Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, Judi Dench as Cecily, Duchess of York, Sally Hawkins as Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester, and Keeley Hawes as Queen Elizabeth.
Also featured in the all-star cast are Michael Gambon as Mortimer, Philip Glenister as Talbot, Andrew Scott as King Louis, Jason Watkins as Suffolk, Samuel West as the Bishop of Winchester, Stanley Townsend as Warwick, Adrian Dunbar as Plantagenet, Geoffrey Streatfeild as Edward IV, Ben Daniels as Buckingham, Ben Miles as Somerset, Sam Troughton as George, Duke of Clarence, Stuart McQuarrie as Vernon, Anton Lesser as Exeter, Kyle Soller as Clifford, Phoebe Fox as Anne, James Fleet as Hastings and Lucy Robinson as Young Cecily.
Henry VI Part 1 (December 11, 9 p.m.)
The King is dead and England is in crisis. War rages with the French and divisions within the English court threaten the crown. Young Henry VI causes outrage by marrying Margaret of Anjou, forcing an unwanted truce; the scene is set for Civil War.
Henry VI Part 2 (December 18, 9 p.m.)
Bitter rivalries erupt into the Wars of the Roses. The feeble King Henry is overshadowed by Queen Margaret and her faction of Lancastrian Lords, his reign further undermined by disaffected nobles supporting the House of York. Battle and bloodshed ensues and the Yorkists triumph. Edward IV takes the throne, but his youngest brother Richard has his eyes firmly on the crown.
Richard III (December 25, 9 p.m.)
Richard, the most notorious of Shakespeare’s kings, manipulates and betrays his way through the court on a bloodthirsty and ruthless path to the throne. But after Richard’s defeat at the battle of Bosworth Field, the Houses of Lancaster and York—the red rose and the white—are united, bringing to an end the Wars of the Roses and long tumultuous period of civil strife.
Great Performances is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. Throughout its 40 year history on public television, Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.