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Romeo & Juliet
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Romeo & Juliet
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Douglas Henshall, Sophie Dahl and Susannah York star in Shakespeare's passionate story of doomed love.BBC radio has a unique heritage when it comes to Shakespeare. Since 1923, when the newly formed...
Douglas Henshall, Sophie Dahl and Susannah York star in Shakespeare's passionate story of doomed love.BBC radio has a unique heritage when it comes to Shakespeare. Since 1923, when the newly formed...
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  • Douglas Henshall, Sophie Dahl and Susannah York star in Shakespeare's passionate story of doomed love.

    BBC radio has a unique heritage when it comes to Shakespeare. Since 1923, when the newly formed company broadcast its first full-length play, generations of actors and producers have honed and perfected the craft of making Shakespeare to be heard. In the acclaimed BBC Radio Shakespeare series, each play is introduced by Richard Eyre, former Director of the Royal National Theatre. Revitalised, original and comprehensive, this is Shakespeare for the new millennium.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Romance is passion and all the action that accompanies it--kissing, shoving, loving, screaming, stroking, crying, bleeding, dying. In performance literature real voices emote real feelings as we listen.But then, whom are we really listening to? Each of us is listening in part to ourselves, giving our interpretation to the text: Juliet hears a nightingale while Romeo hears a lark. So the question naturally arises as to why someone would want to silently read a play, rather than hear it performed by skilled actors, who have an intelligent interpretation already mastered and whose words mesh with one another's in an artistic whole that can help us with our own interpretation. Kenneth Branagh and The Renaissance Theatre Company provide us simple folk with the lush richness of romantic speech in all its tumult and tension. Real voices asserting their characters' lives interacting with each other and with us, the happy voyeurs of sound. Silent print has not a chance against such energies. P.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Magazine This is the definitive Romeo and Juliet for audiophile scholars and teachers, as well as for all lovers of fine theater who know that reading Shakespeare on the printed page can be trying. By following along with a complete annotated text, the reader can glean the meaning and magic of Shakespeare especially well. Featuring Kenneth Branagh and Samantha Bond, the Renaissance Theater Company radiates other luminaries such as Gielgud and Jacobi. Add to this the exciting music composed by Patrick Doyle (who also scored Branagh's Henry V), wonderful sound effects, and Branagh's impeccable directing, and you have a production fit for the ages. Further refined by the clear and true recording techniques of the BBC, this modern production reminds us how magnificent Shakespeare is when we're given a chance to really hear him. P.W. Winner of AUDIOFILE Earphones Award (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Magazine In 1996 Baz Lurmann's film ROMEO + JULIET reimagined Shakespeare's play in a contemporary setting. The appeal to teens was high, and this BBC Radio dramatization from 1999 shares many of the same elements. The soundtrack includes zooming Vespas and squealing tires--very much the sounds of a modern Verona. The cast is young and the cadences brisk, but attention is paid to the dialogue for comprehension by a modern audience. The audio format, especially through earphones, gives the story added intimacy, and here a fine freshness. The main actors--Dahl, Henshall, and York--stand out. A few of the minor cast members are less skilled, and somewhat interrupt the suspension of disbelief, but, overall, teens will be absorbed in the drama. R.F.W. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Magazine The two leads excel in this new recording of Shakespeare's early play. Joseph Fiennes captures Romeo's tenderness, immaturity, and idealism, and he maintains his energy throughout. Maria Miles, as Juliet, makes a memorable and intelligent impression in virtually every scene she has. Her desperate soliloquy in Act Four, considering the possible consequences of taking the deathlike sleeping potion given to her by the Friar, is a gem: She is fearful and determined, independent and frail. Clive Brill's direction sometimes calls for overlapping dialogue, which makes for an effective brisk pace. The close microphone on Juliet for her lines about Romeo's death ("Take him and cut him out in little stars . . .") gives the poetry a powerful intimacy. A superior production. G.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 10, 2016
    Zwerger crafts a lovely and contemplative staging of Romeo and Juliet. Brief excerpts from the play introduce sections of original and readily accessible prose: “Friar Laurence was rather surprised to find that Romeo had changed his mind so soon, and was in love with someone else. Could this end well?” Zwerger’s uncluttered illustrations, rendered in muted jewel tones and delineated with sharp edges, give the effect of peering into private moments not meant to be shared or seen. Spot illustrations of dying roses foreshadow the coming tragedy, yet Zwerger ponders a different ending in a closing note (“Might the story have taken a different turn?”), picturing Romeo and Juliet riding away together on horseback. Ages 5–7.

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