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Macbeth
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Macbeth
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Infamously known as the cursed Scottish play, Macbeth is perhaps Shakespeare's darkest tragedy. When General Macbeth is foretold by three witches that he will one day be King of Scotland, Lady Macbeth...
Infamously known as the cursed Scottish play, Macbeth is perhaps Shakespeare's darkest tragedy. When General Macbeth is foretold by three witches that he will one day be King of Scotland, Lady Macbeth...
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  • Infamously known as the cursed Scottish play, Macbeth is perhaps Shakespeare's darkest tragedy. When General Macbeth is foretold by three witches that he will one day be King of Scotland, Lady Macbeth convinces him to get rid of anyone who could stand in his way – including committing regicide. As Macbeth ascends to the throne through bloody murder, he becomes a tyrant consumed by fear and paranoia.

    An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring:

    James Marsters as Macbeth;

    Joanne Whalley as Lady Macbeth;

    Josh Cooke as Banquo and others;

    JD Cullum as Macduff and Second Murderer;

    Dan Donohue as Ross;

    Jeannie Elias as Second Witch and others;

    Chuma Gault as Lennox and Servant;

    Jon Matthews as Malcolm;

    Alan Shearman as Angus and others;

    André Sogliuzzo as Donalbain, Third Witch and others;

    Kate Steele as Lady Macduff, First Witch and Apparition;

    Kris Tabori as Duncan and others.

    Directed by Martin Jarvis. Sound effects by Tony Palermo. Recorded at the Invisible Studios, West Hollywood in May, 2011.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine In one of Shakespeare's shortest plays, a Scots noble, inspired by witches, murders to become king and then loses himself in brutality. James Marsters and Joanne Whalley, as Macbeth and his Lady, are both quite good, if rarely exciting or remarkable. Whalley hits that mark more often. There are, by turns, some flatness and overacting in the lesser roles. There's too much forced laughter among the supernumeraries and too much grunting during fights we cannot see. Still, the overall production is effective. Without standout performances, the play takes the lead. The music and sound effects, though occasionally overdone, help build a sense of dread and things gone very wrong. Text, performances, and sound combine to deliver an affecting tale of tragic horror. W.M. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 30, 2012
    Audio productions of Shakespeare’s work can be a challenge to execute, but L.A. Theatre Works delivers a gripping full-cast dramatization that keeps listeners engaged from start to finish. When Macbeth is told he will one day become king of Scotland, Lady Macbeth hatches an evil plot that ends in bloody regicide and tragedy. James Marsters delivers an admirable performance as Macbeth, conveying the character’s conflicting emotions and subsequent arrogance. Equally skilled is Joanne Whalley, whose Lady Macbeth transforms from a determined and opportunistic woman in the beginning of the play to a depressed and despairing one in the final act. Recorded in front of a live audience, this well-produced audio also features music and sound effects—all of which make for an absolutely entertaining listening experience.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 1, 1993
    Based on an HBO animated series, these condensations emphasize the dramatic content of some of Shakespeare's best known works. As abridged by Garfield in consultation with a panel of scholars, the books on the whole retain the magic of Shakespeare's vision and remain true to his poetics. Linguistic fluidity is perforce sacrificed (omitted lines are presented as italicized summaries interspersed throughout the dialogue), but these versions should still fire children's imaginations. Though the artwork varies in quality, the Eastern European illustrators generally capture the underlying theatrics. Palettes are subdued for the dramas, and appropriately brighter for the comedies (though the tone reproductions frequently seem off). Several plays' illustrations have a cartoony appearance; a few exhibit the stilted look of old Classics Comics. While the plays forgo their complexities--many subplots are omitted--as they become more linear in their themes (Macbeth loses much of his humanity, Romeo and Juliet is pared of its politics), their nobility shines through in these visualized introductions. One hopes that readers will be encouraged to move on to the originals. Ages 10-up.

  • AudioFile Magazine If you enjoy vintage productions of radio theater, the CBC delivers just what you're waiting for in this archived MACBETH. The sound and style remind one of not only radio of the past, but also early television drama, with its dense, cloudy sound, semi-classical delivery, and busy production. It sounds as if there were two directors on board, one for the actors and one for the producers, and that is not meant as a compliment. If you love Shakespeare unconditionally, you'll want this nicely packaged CD for your collection. Yes, one CD for the entire play--a polite voice-over catches us up between scenes on what we've missed. D.J.B. (c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine
  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2012

    Gr 10 Up-Shakespeare's tragedy is brought to life in this studio-recorded full-cast performance starring James Marsters and Joanne Whalley. Marsters's Macbeth is solid, and Whalley turns in a remarkable performance of Lady Macbeth's calculated strength and eventual unraveling. The pacing and delivery of Shakespeare's lines are effective and accurate, and the use of sound to depict setting and action provide the essential cues listeners need. The sound effects and the theatrics of the Weird Sisters are wonderful. Listeners should be familiar with the story prior to listening due to the large number of characters and the lack of stage direction in audio format. A good choice to offer students as a reading companion.-Rebecca Flannery, Lyman Memorial High School, Lebanon, CT

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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