These are wonderfully voiced radio plays of some of the original Sherlock Holmes stories - they are old (from the 1950s), so the quality of the recording is not up to the stereo, multi-track standards of some, but the quality of the actors make up for any such issues. It's obvious that the stories are episodes of a radio series, since they each start and end with theme music and a voice over. I like the episodic nature of these stories - I can listen to one or two of them in between longer audiobooks to kind of take a mental break before moving from one book to another. The stories are good fun, and the narration is wonderful.
This was a new story to me - I had not seen nor read the play before. I was shocked by the resolution because it seemed so atypical for even the late 19th century -- in fact, I have read since that it was quite a controversial ending and Ibsen was forced to change it for performances in Germany.
In a nutshell, this is a story about a paternalistic and overbearing husband and his secretive and child-like wife; to him, he has a dollhouse of perfect little toys to play with, but to her, she has a gilded cage full of superficial pleasantries but no freedom. The resolution is unexpected for 1879, even though today's reader might think it appropriate.
The production was good, even though I'm not a Calista Flockhart fan, but the children sounded like Munchkins - which is odd, because this is a live production and I'm sure they were really children in the roles. Tim Dekay and Gregory Itzin were wonderful.
Although this is one of Wilde's "society plays" and often described as a comedy, there's some very real dramatic elements in addition to the expected satire and wit. There's blackmail, insider trading, and scandal, but there's also a strong thread of loving imperfections and a person's flaws.