Stories From Shakespeare: The Audio CD – Audiobook, Dec 1 2008
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Lesser leads an ensemble cast through eight Shakespeare plays, beginning with gloomy Richard II before moving on to Henry IV, Henry V, and Henry VI, concluding with the wicked but laughable Richard III. Elizabethan period music sets the dramatic scenes and provides a bridge between stories. In a mellow British accent and dignified pace, Lesser reads detailed prose versions of the plays. At strategic points, the ensemble actors create a sense of theater by declaiming the speeches word for word. Many of these interludes are famous monologues, but frequent dialogues add interest and variety. An accompanying booklet contains information about each play as well as a track-by-track guide (most helpful, as the back cover erroneously divides Henry V into three parts). This production, like four earlier Shakespeare recordings from Naxos, works both as a graceful pre-theater listening experience and a classroom resource. - Kristi Elle Jemtegaard, Booklist
Many authors have attempted to adapt the stories of Shakespeare for young people--Leon Garfield's series comes immediately to mind. In this collection, David Timson follows a wise and successful formula, relying on substantial excerpts from the actual plays--including HAMLET, KING LEAR, MACBETH, and ROMEO AND JULIET--taken from the Naxos catalogue. He ties these together with prose narratives of his own, read by Juliet Stevenson and Michael Sheen, who are Shakespearean actors in their own right. The result is a wonderful introduction to both the language and the stories of the plays for young listeners, as well as a welcome refresher for older ones. D.B. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.