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Slings and Arrows: The Complete Collection [Blu-ray]

22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Gross, Martha Burns, Stephen Ouimette, Susan Coyne, Don McKellar
  • Writers: Susan Coyne, Mark McKinney, Bob Martin
  • Format: Box set, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Acorn
  • Release Date: Oct. 26 2010
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003VYCK1Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,334 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Winner of 13 Gemini Awards and showered with critical acclaim, this darkly comic Canadian series follows the fortunes of a dysfunctional Shakespearean theatre troupe, exposing the high drama, scorching battles, and electrifying thrills that happen behind the scenes.

Paul Gross (Due South) stars as Geoffrey Tennant, the passionate but unstable artistic director of the New Burbage Theatre Festival. Haunted by the ghost of his predecessor (Stephen Ouimette), he struggles to realize his creative vision while handling touchy actors, a jittery general manager (Mark McKinney), a pretentious guest director (Don McKellar), and his own tempestuous romance with the festival's leading lady (Martha Burns). The backstage bedlam mirrors the onstage angst as Geoffrey directs three of Shakespeare's masterpieces-Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear-one in each season. Guest stars include Rachel McAdams (The Notebook), Colm Feore (Chicago), Sarah Polley (Go, The Sweet Hereafter), and renowned Stratford Festival actor William Hutt in one of his last performances.

BONUS FEATURES - Exclusive episode commentary with Bob Martin, Mark McKinney, Susan Coyne, Graham Harley, Michael Polley, Paul Gross, Martha Burns and director Peter Wellington - Behind-the-scenes featurette - Extended scenes of King Lear - Deleted and Extended scenes - Bloopers - Trailer - Production notes - Song lyrics - Cast interviews - Photo gallery - Cast and crew on set


"Absolutely addictive" -- The New York Times

"Beautiful, intelligent writing and polished acting" -- The Wall Street Journal

"Pitch-perfect drama and comedy" -- San Francisco Chronicle

"Terrific, inspired backstage comedy" -- Los Angeles Times

"The most fully satisfying slice of entertainment in ages" -- Newsday

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on Sept. 4 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I love this series: it's funny, it's serious, it's insightful, with fantastic acting all round, even the minor characters are well-developed. And, although the story centers on the dramas that go on behind the scenes of a theatre company, I think it really touches on more than just that: the foibles of human relationships in general, in all their varied forms. The writers have a deft touch: they knew exactly how much to exaggerate the characters so that they are funny and yet still convincingly convey their deeply flawed and complex humanity. And, along the way I also learned something about Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jaclyn Ludwig on April 29 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Slings and Arrows is one of my favourite shows. While you can go wrong with a lot of Canadian programming, this is not one of those. It's an excellent series with accomplished acting. Good quality video and music. It kept my attention throughout the series. I definitely recommend for anyone who has even a little interest in theatre, and even for those who do not. It is fun and engaging coming from almost any perspective. The price for the box set is a great deal as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on April 30 2011
Format: DVD
Ever been to Stratford in Canada, a town that specializes in Shakespearean plays (among others) year-round? Well, I have -- and I have new appreciation for the thespians and managers who manage to keep those venerable theatres running, if they have to deal with half the stuff that goes on in "Slings and Arrows: The Complete Series." It's a subtle, hilarious comedy with death, romance, ghosts and corporate idiocy.

As the story starts, artistic director Oliver Welles (Stephen Ouimette) is run over by a pig truck after drunkenly falling asleep in the road. His replacement: former protege and genius iconoclast Geoffrey Tennant (Paul Gross), whose acting career ended in a nervous breakdown onstage. Unsurprisingly, the acting troupe -- including Geoffrey's ex-lover Ellen Fanshaw (Martha Burns) -- are wary of of Geoffrey's brilliant but erratic behavior.

And Geoffrey isn't too sure of himself, since he seems to be seeing Oliver's ghost trying to guide him from beyond the grave (and causing Geoffrey to start screaming at thin air). Now he has to not only produce "Hamlet" (ironic, no?), but deal with Ellen's cougar romances, avant-garde director Darren Nichols, and an omnivorous American businesswoman trying to turn New Burbage into a shallow theatrical theme park. Will the show go on, or is this "Hamlet" doomed?

The second season sees Geoffrey being forced to put on "Macbeth," and the curse begins to affect the theater right away. The "Romeo and Juliet" director falls off the stage and breaks her neck, putting the production in Darren Nichols' hands; an edgy new ad campaign alienates EVERYBODY; Ellen is being audited; and Oliver's ghost returns to help Geoffrey put on "Macbeth" as he dreamed it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian Ashe on Dec 28 2010
Format: DVD
This is the best Canadian TV series ever produced. Tightly modelled on the Stratford Festival, the first season starts with a truly mediocre production of Midsummer Night's Dream followed by the drunken artistic director being run over by a pig truck ("Canada's Best Hams"). This leads to Paul Gross' character being brought in as acting artistic director. Ten years before he had had a psychotic episode on stage while playing Hamlet, and an unresolved affair with the leading lady (a lovely bitchy Martha Henry). Despite being dead, the ex-artistic director continues to appear, only to Paul Gross, and at the worst possible moments, and has a major effect on the next three years.

Spanning three seasons in only 18 episodes, this show should be actionable. The characters are easily recognizable to Stratford watchers, and they are not potrayed as very smart or lovable. Why there hasn't been a libel or defamation suit beats me. Each episode rocks. All of the actors are excellent, there are no weak spots. From the corporate takeover to the abysmal advertizing ("Froghammer"), from the assistant to the artistic director to the nerdy financial director (who co-wrote the script), from the ex-psychotic artistic director to the truly psychotic guest director ("deal with it"), from the American film star guest artist who has never done Shakespeare, to the dying actor who absolutely needs to do Lear before he dies, the scripts ring true. And truly hilarious, even if you don't know Shakespeare or Stratford politics.

Again, this is the best Canadian TV series ever produced. If you liked Shakespeare in Love, you will be ecstatic about this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeanie on Sept. 5 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Anyone who has any experience with the production side of Canadian theatre, and even anyone who hasn't, will find themselves laughing to the point of tears at this wonderful look at the inner workings of a "major Canadian theatre festival" (not meaning any specific festival, of course).
Paul Gross, Martha Burns, and the rest of the cast create vivid, memorable characters, and the series would be worth getting just for the opportunity to see how Shakespeare should be played! William Hutt, appearing as King Lear (in Season 3) is quite simply magnificent - his storm scene, and Cordelia's death, reduce me to weeping each time I watch (and it is definitely worth watching more than once). And there are other subtle touches - the hiring of a young Hollywood heartthrob as Hamlet (surely not a nod at Keanu Reeves, at Manitoba Theatre Centre) is particularly noteworthy, as he is led into the world of real acting.
There's some pretty raw language (quite a lot, to be truthful), but not enough to discourage adults who live in the real world.
Highly recommended!
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