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Orlando (1992, Tilda Swinton, Billy Zane)



Orlando, directed by the excellent Sally Potter, is a subversive take on Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel of the same name, quite hard to classify, Orlando is a fable about a young man in the time of Queen Elizabeth the first, who decides not to grow old, halfway through the movie he wakes to find he has turned into a woman, Potter continues Orlando’s story right up to the present day. The story might be off kilter, but then again it is based on Woolf, but is blessed with stunning production design and a cameo from Quentin Crisp as Queen Elizabeth the first!

production details
UK | 93 minutes | 1992

Writer and Director: Sally Potter
Novel: Virginia Woolf,

Tilda Swinton as Orlando
Billy Zane as Shelmerdine
Lothaire Bluteau as The Khan
John Wood as Archduke Harry
Charlotte Valandrey as Princess Sasha
Quentin Crisp as Elizabeth I
Heathcote Williams as Nick Greene/Publisher
Dudley Sutton as King James I
Peter Eyre as Mr Pope
Kathryn Hunter as Countess
Ned Sherrin as Mr Addison
Jimmy Somerville as Singer/Angel
Roger Hammond as Mr Swift
Simon Russell Beale as Earl of Moray
Toby Stephens as Othello
John Bott as Orlando’s Father
Elaine Banham as Orlando’s Mother
Anna Farnworth as Clorinda
Sara Mair-Thomas as Favilla
Jerome Willis as Translator
Anna Healy as Euphrosyne
Viktor Stepanov as Russian Ambassador
Mary MacLeod as First Woman
Barbara Hicks as Second Woman
Toby Jones as 2nd Valet
Alexander Medvedev as Russian Sailor
Sarah Crowden as Queen Mary
Oleg Pogodin as Desdemona
Thom Hoffman as King William of Orange
Matthew Sim as Lord Francis Vere
George Antoni as First Valet (as George Yiasoumi)
Robert Demeger as 3rd Valet
Giles Taylor as Singing Valet
Lol Coxhill as Butler
Thom Osborn as Doctor
John Grillo as First Official
Martin Wimbush as Second Official
Jessica Swinton as Orlando’s Daughter