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Shakespeare Audiobooks in Drama

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BBC Radio Shakespeare: A Collection of Three Roman Plays Audiobook

BBC Radio Shakespeare: A Collection of Three Roman Plays

Three full-cast BBC Radio productions of Shakespeare's most famous Roman plays Featuring all-star casts and introduced by Sir Richard Eyre, these three iconic productions of Shakespeare's dynamic Roman histories are full of political intrigue, passion and tragedy. Julius Caesar This updated version of Shakespeare's classic play is set in Italy in 1925. Julius Caesar, a new Roman dictator, has swept to power, and his way is clear to assume total control - unless a coup by Cassius and Brutus can alter the tide of history. Nicholas Farrell stars as Brutus and Gerard Murphy as Julius Caesar. Coriolanus When Rome's greatest hero, the warrior Coriolanus, divides the people and the patricians through his arrogance, he is driven into exile. Samuel West stars as Coriolanus, with Susannah York as Volumnia. Antony and Cleopatra Shakespeare's last great tragedy is an action epic set against the political backdrop of the Roman Empire and the centre of Egyptian culture, Alexandria. But at the heart of the play is the story of what happens when two people fall in love. Starring Frances Barber as Cleopatra and David Harewood as Mark Antony.

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BBC Radio Shakespeare: A Collection of Four History Plays Audiobook

BBC Radio Shakespeare: A Collection of Four History Plays

Four full-cast BBC Radio productions of Shakespeare's finest history plays Introduced by Sir Richard Eyre, these four iconic productions, featuring star casts, bring Shakespeare's gripping histories to life in all their rich complexity. Henry IV, Part One Young Prince Hal struggles with his responsibilities as heir to the throne, preferring the company of the dissolute Falstaff. But when England is threatened with rebellion, will he do his duty? Father and son Julian Glover and Jamie Glover star as King Henry and Prince Hal, with Timothy West as Falstaff. Henry IV, Part Two The realm is still in danger, and the King is dying. It is time for Prince Hal to fulfil his royal destiny - but what will become of his old friend, Falstaff? Starring Julian Glover, Jamie Glover and Timothy West. Richard II This lyrically tragic history encompasses themes of nobility and kingship, as King Richard is brought to his own destruction - but was he justly punished for his excesses, or a misunderstood victim? Samuel West stars as Richard II, with Joss Ackland as John of Gaunt and Damian Lewis as Bolingbroke. Pericles Featuring world music and a multicultural cast, this timeless tale with a contemporary twist features tyrants, incest, murder, young love, and a great hero cruelly separated from his wife and daughter. Will he ever see them again? Benjamin Zephaniah stars as the narrator, Gower.

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BBC Radio Shakespeare: A Collection of Eight Comedies Audiobook

BBC Radio Shakespeare: A Collection of Eight Comedies

Eight full-cast BBC Radio productions of Shakespeare's best-loved comedies Full of merriment, mayhem, mischief and mistaken identity, here are eight iconic radio productions of Shakespeare's most magical comedies, featuring star casts and introduced by Sir Richard Eyre. Much Ado About Nothing Shakespeare's delightful comedy sparkles with the verbal sparring of our two reluctant lovers in a world where nothing is quite what it seems. David Tennant and Samantha Spiro star as Benedick and Beatrice. As You Like It The Forest of Arden resonates with declarations of love in this joyous pastoral comedy, starring Helena Bonham Carter as Rosalind, David Morrissey as Orlando and Natasha Little as Celia. A Midsummer Night's Dream In this delightful comic fantasy, four young lovers and a troupe of actors have a bewitching encounter with Fairyland. Starring David Threlfall as Theseus/Oberon, Sylvestra Le Touzel as Titania/Hippolyta and Amanda Root as Hermia. The Merchant of Venice Shakespeare's thrilling courtroom drama explores the eternal themes of love and hate, mercy and justice. Starring Warren Mitchell as Shylock, with Martin Jarvis as Antonio, Juliet Aubrey as Portia and Samuel West as Bassanio. Twelfth Night On the night when all the world is turned on its head, girls become boys and women lust after women, in this most optimistic of Shakespeare's comedies. Michael Maloney stars as Orsino and Anne-Marie Duff as Viola. The Tempest A ship at sea and an enchanted island are the settings for this allegorical tale of betrayal, sorcery, revenge and reconciliation. Starring Philip Madoc as Prospero and Nina Wadia as Ariel. The Taming of the Shrew Farce, disguise, elaborate role-playing and acerbic exchanges of wit combine to make up an extraordinary love story that still sparks controversy 400 years after it was written. Gerard McSorley stars as Petruchio and Ruth Mitchell as Katherina. All's Well That Ends Well This intriguing play tells of the questionable course of action a young woman takes to win the hand of the man she loves. Emma Fielding stars as Helena, with Siân Phillips, Miriam Margolyes, Richard Griffiths and Simon Russell Beale.

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BBC Radio Shakespeare: A Collection of Six Tragedies Audiobook

BBC Radio Shakespeare: A Collection of Six Tragedies

Six full-cast BBC Radio productions of Shakespeare's classic tragedies Treachery, betrayal and fatal power struggles are among the themes of these six iconic productions of Shakespeare's timeless tragedies. Featuring all-star casts, they are introduced by Sir Richard Eyre. Hamlet Shakespeare's powerfully poetic tragedy of murder, madness and revenge stars Michael Sheen as the Prince of Denmark, with Kenneth Cranham as Claudius and Juliet Stevenson as Gertrude. Macbeth In this notorious 'Scottish play', a lust for power and the prophecy of three witches transform a brave nobleman into a traitor and murderous tyrant. Ken Stott stars as Macbeth and Phyllis Logan as Lady Macbeth. King Lear The tragic consequences of evil triumphing over truth, and of the vanity of old age, are set in motion when Lear banishes his favourite daughter, Cordelia, from court. Starring Corin Redgrave as King Lear, with David Troughton, Geraldine James and Robert Glenister. Othello Evil cunning perverts a once noble mind, as heroic general Othello is destroyed by both his own jealousy and the machinations of the devious Iago. Ray Fearon stars as Othello, with James Frain as Iago. Romeo and Juliet An updated version of Shakespeare's tragedy of feuding families and doomed love, set in modern Verona and starring Douglas Henshall as Romeo and Sophie Dahl as Juliet. Cymbeline When Cymbeline discovers his daughter Imogen's secret marriage to Posthumus, he banishes her husband. But Posthumus's boasts of his wife's chastity provoke lachimo to attempt her seduction. Bill Wallis stars as Cymbeline.

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Lady Romeo: The Radical and Revolutionary Life of Charlotte Cushman, America's First Celebrity Audiobook

Lady Romeo: The Radical and Revolutionary Life of Charlotte Cushman, America's First Celebrity

Author: Tana Wojczuk Narrator: Tavia Gilbert Release Date: July 2020

"A lively, illuminating new biography…Wojczuk reveals the force and vitality of this woman, on the stage and off." —Nina MacLaughlin, The Boston Globe "Once the empress of the stage, the indomitable 19th-century superstar Charlotte Cushman has been lost to us. Tana Wojczuk resurrects her here, charisma and originality intact. A brisk, beautifully crafted life of a pioneering actor who—on and off the stage—indeed seems to have been, as Wojczuk puts it, 'a better man than most men.'" —Stacy Schiff, bestselling author of The Witches and Cleopatra For fans of Book of Ages and American Eve, this illuminating and enthralling biography of 19th-century queer actress Charlotte Cushman portrays her radical lifestyle that riveted New York City and made headlines across America. All her life, Charlotte Cushman refused to submit to others' expectations. Raised in Boston at the time of the transcendentalists, a series of disasters cleared the way for her life on the stage—a path she eagerly took, rejecting marriage and creating a life of adventure, playing the role of the hero in and out of the theater as she traveled to New Orleans and New York City, and eventually to London and back to build a successful career. Her Hamlet, Romeo, Lady Macbeth, and Nancy Sykes from Oliver Twist became canon, impressing Louisa May Alcott, who later based a character on her in Jo's Boys, and Walt Whitman, who raved about "the towering grandeur of her genius" in his columns for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. She acted alongside Edwin and John Wilkes Booth—supposedly giving the latter a scar on his neck that was later used to identify him as President Lincoln's assassin—and visited frequently with the Great Emancipator himself, who was a devoted Shakespeare fan and admirer of Cushman's work. Her wife immortalized her in the angel at the top of Central Park's Bethesda Fountain; worldwide, she was "a lady universally acknowledged as the greatest living tragic actress." Behind the scenes, she was equally radical, making an independent income, supporting her family, creating one of the first bohemian artists' colonies abroad, and living publicly as a queer woman. And yet, her name has since faded into the shadows. Now, her story comes to brilliant life with Tana Wojczuk's Lady Romeo, an exhilarating and enlightening biography of the 19th-century trailblazer. With new research and rarely seen letters and documents, Wojczuk reconstructs the formative years of Cushman's life, set against the excitement and drama of 1800s New York City and featuring a cast of luminaries and revolutionaries who changed the cultural landscape of America forever. The story of an astonishing and uniquely American life, Lady Romeo reveals one of the most remarkable forgotten figures in our history and restores her to center stage, where she belongs.

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Julius Caesar Audiobook

Julius Caesar

Author: William Shakespeare Narrator: Edward Beesley Release Date: May 2020

“Men at some time are masters of their fates. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Julius Caesar is at the height of his power. He has just defeated his top rival and is basking in the glory of his triumph. Some believe that he is abusing his power, though, and behind his back, a conspiracy is developing to assassinate him. Even his close advisor Brutus is swayed to participate in the murder plot. Once Caesar is murdered, the conspirators are forced to explain themselves to Rome’s citizens and explain their intentions, and attempt to convince them that this murder was necessary to create peace. While many people understand their reasoning and agree that the murder was a tragic necessity, Caesar’s death exacerbates the conflicts and power struggles, and the rest of the tragedy demonstrates the bloody aftermath of the conspirators’ act of violence. Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare’s most well-known history plays and is revered for its profound writing and thought-provoking perspective on this famous historical event. Shakespeare’s humanization of these real-life characters gives readers a peek into both sides of the story in an unforgettable way.

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Shakespeare - As You Like It Audiobook

Shakespeare - As You Like It

Author: William Shakespeare Narrator: Multiple Narrators Release Date: March 2020

Play description ACT I Scene 1. Orlando, the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys, has been kept “rustically at home” by his older brother, Oliver; he has been denied his inheritance and any formal education. When Orlando demands his birthright, the brothers come to blows. Charles the wrestler describes how the old Duke has been banished by his younger brother Frederick and has gone to live in the Forest of Arden. His daughter Rosalind has stayed at court with Celia, Frederick’s daughter. Hearing that Charles and Orlando are to wrestle the following day, Oliver lies to Charles, claiming that Orlando intends, if necessary, to resort to foul play in order to win the fight. Scene 2. The courtier Le Beau urges Rosalind and Celia to watch the wrestling. They try to persuade the youthful Orlando not to fight, but he is determined to go ahead and succeeds in beating Charles. Frederick congratulates the victor but is displeased to learn of his parentage. Le Beau suggests that, the Duke being so unpredictable, Orlando would be wise to leave the court. Orlando, who has fallen for the “heavenly Rosalind,” follows his advice.

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Shakespeare - Richard III Act IV Audiobook

Shakespeare - Richard III Act IV

Author: William Shakespeare Narrator: Multiple Narrators Release Date: March 2020

ACT IV Scene 1. At the Tower, Queen Elizabeth, the Duchess of York, and Anne, now Richard’s wife, are prevented from visiting the young princes by Brakenbury, who acts under orders from “the king.” They are horrified when Anne is summoned to Westminster to be crowned Richard’s queen. Scene 2. Richard is suspicious when Buckingham fails to condone immediately the suggested murder of the young princes. He hires Tyrrel to organize the assassination and plans to consolidate his position further by marrying King Edward’s daughter Elizabeth. When Buckingham reminds Richard that he has promised him the earldom of Hereford, he is rebuffed. Alarmed, Buckingham flees to Wales. Scene 3. The princes and Anne are dead, Clarence’s son has been imprisoned, his daughter safely married and Richard determines to go to Elizabeth “a jolly thriving wooer.” Ratcliffe announces that Buckingham is gathering Welsh forces.

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Shakespeare - Twelfth Night Audiobook

Shakespeare - Twelfth Night

Author: William Shakespeare Narrator: Multiple Narrators Release Date: March 2020

Play description Act I Scene 1. Orsino, Duke of Illyria, is in love with Olivia, a wealthy noblewoman. She, however, is in mourning for her brother and rejects him. Scene 2. A young woman, Viola, has been shipwrecked on the Illyrian coast, having been separated from her twin brother Sebastian, whom she fears dead. A Captain tells her about the lovelorn Duke and she decides to dress as a boy and seek employment with him. Scene 3. Olivia’s uncle, Sir Toby Belch, does not approve of her prolonged mourning. Her maid Maria warns him that Olivia is displeased with his debauched behavior. Maria is also critical of Sir Andrew Aguecheek, a foolish but wealthy knight whom Sir Toby supports as a candidate for his niece’s hand in marriage. Scene 4. The Duke urges Viola (now disguised as Cesario), to woo Olivia in his name. Viola, however, reveals in an aside that “Whoe’er I woo, myself would be his wife.” Scene 5. Olivia is with her clown Feste and her steward, the dour Malvolio, when Viola/Cesario is announced. Olivia tells Maria to dismiss the Duke’s envoy, but Viola persists and Olivia agrees to see him. Olivia rejects the Duke’s suit, but is so charmed by the youth that she invents an excuse for giving him her ring. 

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Shakespeare - Pericles Audiobook

Shakespeare - Pericles

Author: William Shakespeare Narrator: Multiple Narrators Release Date: March 2020

Play description ACT I Chorus. The poet Gower tells of King Antiochus’s incestuous relationship with his daughter. He has prevented his daughter from marrying by presenting all her suitors with a riddle which they must either solve or die. Scene 1. Pericles, Prince of Tyre, comes to try his luck with the daughter of Antiochus. Having read the riddle, however, he guesses the King’s guilty secret. Once Antiochus realizes that he has been found out, he is determined to be rid of Pericles and instructs Thaliard to kill him. Pericles flees and Thaliard pledges to pursue him. Scene 2. Fearful of Antiochus’s revenge, Pericles leaves secretly for Tharsus, leaving Helicanus as his deputy. Scene 3. Thaliard arrives in Tyre only to find Pericles gone. Scene 4. Cleon, the Governor of Tharsus, and his wife, Dionyza, bemoan the terrible famine that afflicts their city. When word arrives that ships have been sighted offshore, Cleon assumes that some foreign power has come intending to take advantage of their weakness. His fears prove groundless – the ships belong to Pericles and are full of corn for his people. 

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Shakespeare - Taming of the Shrew Audiobook

Shakespeare - Taming of the Shrew

Author: William Shakespeare Narrator: Multiple Narrators Release Date: March 2020

Play description ACT I Induction 1. Christopher Sly, a beggar, is found asleep drunk outside an alehouse by a Lord returning from hunting with his men. The Lord amuses himself by taking Sly back to his house andhaving him dressed in sumptuous clothes. Induction 2. When Sly awakes, the Lord and his servants convince him that he is a nobleman returning to sanity after years of lunacy. A group of players arrives to entertain him, and what follows is the play they perform. Scene 1. Lucentio, son of Vincentio, a rich Pisan merchant, has come to Padua eager to study. His servant Tranio cautions him that “No profit grows where is no pleasure ta’en.” They overhear the wealthy Baptista announcing that he will not give his daughter Bianca in marriage until he has married off her older sister, Kate, whose bad temper and scolding tongue are famous. Rival suitors Gremio and Hortensio agree that they will try to find a husband for Kate, thus clearing their way to Bianca. Meanwhile, Lucentio has fallen in love with Bianca himself. Tranio suggests that Lucentio disguise himself as a schoolmaster in order to gain access to her. To avoid raising suspicions in the town, they exchange roles: Tranio becoming the master, Lucentio, his servant. Scene 2. When Petruchio and his servant Grumio arrive in Padua, Petruchio tells Hortensio that he wants a rich wife. Hearing of Kate, he resolves to win her, despite her reputation as a shrew. Hortensio also decides to enter Baptista’s house disguised as a schoolmaster so as to gain access to Bianca. Gremio and Hortensio agree to share the cost of Petruchio’s courtship. Tranio, posing as Lucentio, arrives and announces that he, too, intends to woo Bianca. 

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Shakespeare - Love's Labour's Lost Audiobook

Shakespeare - Love's Labour's Lost

Author: William Shakespeare Narrator: Multiple Narrators Release Date: March 2020

Play description ACT I Scene 1. The young King of Navarre has vowed to turn his court into “a little academe,” by dedicating himself to study and shunning the company of women for three years. The lords Dumain, Longaville and Berowne have sworn the same oath, though Berowne remains skeptical as to its value. Amusement will be provided by Don Adriano de Armado, a fantastical Spaniard, and Costard the clown. Costard is brought before the King by Constable Dull, who has arrested him for being with a woman. Costard is sentenced to a week of fasting with bran and water. Scene 2. Armado quips with Moth, his page, before confessing that he is in love. The object of his passion is the very same Jaquenetta with whom Costard was apprehended. 

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