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Drama

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Tad Davis

Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA Member Since 2005
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  • "Delightfully silly"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    LA Theatre Works is a unique and rich source of live performances. Their audio productions are recorded in front of a live audience, which provides two benefits, especially in a wonderfully silly play like this: you can laugh along with other (real) people, and the actors are unlikely to drop their voices to a whisper. It's not quite the same as seeing the play on stage, but it's closer than listening to a studio production. You trade a small measure of verisimilitude in the sound for a large measure of communal laughter.

    There's not much to say about the play itself. It's a puff of air, a totally ridiculous situation where the farce is embodied in a rapid exchange of one-liners rather than in pratfalls. Wilde's brilliant language sparkles throughout.

    I listened to the other recordings of this play available on Audible, and while one of them in particular features a more stellar cast, they lack the energizing effect of hearing the responses of other people to the same lines that made me chuckle. Yes, it sounds "stagey" at times, but that's why I liked it!

    This recording also includes an interview with the director.

    More

    The Importance of Being Earnest

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, and others
    Overall
    (544)
    Performance
    (442)
    Story
    (441)

    This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence." Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.

    Tad Davis says: "Delightfully silly"
  • "Haunting and beautiful"

    Overall

    This is a mysterious and haunting audio version. It's basically the soundtrack of a stage production that was done in a highly stylized form some 50 years ago: the actors wore masks and spoke in an "elevated" way, sometimes emphasizing the verse (I believe the translation is by W.B. Yeats), sometimes trailing off into a wail of pain. You can almost imagine you're sitting in one of the great stone amphitheaters of ancient Greece. The tone of it takes some getting used to, but if you let it take hold of you, it's compelling and moving. The closing music, for me, sums up the somber, exalted mood of Greek tragedy better than anything else I've heard.

    More

    Oedipus Rex

    • ABRIDGED (1 hr and 17 mins)
    • Narrated By Douglas Campbell
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Full-cast dramatization of Oedipus the King, the Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed c. 429 BCE. Featuring Douglas Campbell, Eric House and Robert Goodier.

    wlthlla says: "Not a bad story"
  1. The Importance of Being E...
  2. Oedipus Rex
  3. .

A Peek at Katy's Bookshelf

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United States 11 REVIEWS / 78 ratings Member Since 2010 3 Followers / Following 0
 
Katy's greatest hits:
  • The Importance of Being Earnest

    "Thouroughly Enjoyable!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had read this play many years ago, but never seen it performed. I admit, at the time, that I was not very impressed. This performance has changed my mind! This a truly funny play that had me laughing out loud at times, and Oscar Wilde has a wonderful sense for the absurd. The performance was very good, I can't resist James Marsters in a British accent (oh, and the others were good, too.)

Michael

Michael NEWBURY PARK, CA, United States 08-10-12 Member Since 2011
HELPFUL VOTES
17
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0
  • "A master"

    2 of 2 helpful votes

    Riveting, moving performances. Wonderful works performed by various groups. If you like theater, you will love these. So well done I feels like I was present at the performance.

    More

    The George Bernard Shaw Collection

    • ORIGINAL (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By George Bernard Shaw
    • Narrated By Shirley Knight, Anne Heche, JoBeth Williams, and others
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (36)

    Eight of George Bernard Shaw's most memorable plays in one splendid collection: Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Arms and the Man, Candida, The Devil’s Disciple, Major Barbara, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Misalliance, and Pygmalion.

    Michael says: "Impressive Collection of Shaw"

What's Trending in Drama:

  • 4.3 (544 ratings)
    The Importance of Being Earnest (






UNABRIDGED) by Oscar Wilde Narrated by James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, Neil Dickson, Jill Gascoine, Christopher Neame, Matthew Wolf

    The Importance of Being Earnest

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, and others
    Overall
    (544)
    Performance
    (442)
    Story
    (441)

    This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence." Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.

    Tad Davis says: "Delightfully silly"
  • 4.4 (52 ratings)
    An Ideal Husband (






UNABRIDGED) by Oscar Wilde Narrated by Rosalind Ayres, Jacqueline Bisset, Paul Gutrecht, Martin Jarvis, Robert Machray, Miriam Margolyes, Alfred Molina, Jim Norton, Yeardley Smith

    An Ideal Husband

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 39 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By Rosalind Ayres, Jacqueline Bisset, Paul Gutrecht, and others
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    A tender love story, a serpentine villainess, a glittering setting in London society, and a showering of Wildean witticism are only a few of the reasons why this play has enjoyed hugely successful revivals in London, in New York, and on the silver screen. This 1895 drama is eerily prescient, as it examines the plight of a promising politician, desperate to hide a secret in his past. With empathy and wit, Oscar Wilde explores the pitfalls of holding public figures to higher standards than the rest of us.

    Katherine Michaels says: "Almost perfect"
  • 4.3 (50 ratings)
    Hedda Gabler (






UNABRIDGED) by Henrik Ibsen Narrated by Juliet Stevenson, Michael Maloney, full cast

    Hedda Gabler

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Henrik Ibsen
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson, Michael Maloney, full cast
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Hedda Gabler, the daughter of a deceased General, marries dull George Tesman and foresees a life of middle class tedium stretching ahead when they return from their honeymoon. Increasingly, she is drawn into the clutches of her admirer, Judge Brack, who seeks to establish a ménage à trois. Then the brilliant but dissolute Eilert Lovborg, a former flame, arrives to rival her husband for an academic post.

    Brenda says: "Hedda"
  • 4.4 (43 ratings)
    The George Bernard Shaw Collection  by George Bernard Shaw Narrated by Shirley Knight, Anne Heche, JoBeth Williams, Richard Dreyfuss, Bruce Davison, Kate Burton, Roger Rees

    The George Bernard Shaw Collection

    • ORIGINAL (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By George Bernard Shaw
    • Narrated By Shirley Knight, Anne Heche, JoBeth Williams, and others
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (36)

    Eight of George Bernard Shaw's most memorable plays in one splendid collection: Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Arms and the Man, Candida, The Devil’s Disciple, Major Barbara, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Misalliance, and Pygmalion.

    Michael says: "Impressive Collection of Shaw"
  •  
  • 4.3 (32 ratings)
    A Doll's House  by Henrik Ibsen Narrated by Calista Flockhart, Tony Abatemarco, Tim Dekay, Jeannie Elias, Gregory Itzin, Jobeth Williams

    A Doll's House

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Henrik Ibsen
    • Narrated By Calista Flockhart, Tony Abatemarco, Tim Dekay, and others
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (29)

    A new recording of Henrik Ibsen's masterpiece, starring Calista Flockhart. Nora Helmer has everything a young housewife could want: beautiful children, an adoring husband, and a bright future. But when a carelessly buried secret rises from the past, Nora's well-calibrated domestic ideal starts to crumble. Ibsen's play is as fresh today as it was when it first stormed the stages of 19th-century Europe.

    Jayne says: "Very Interesting!"
  • 4.3 (28 ratings)
    In Search of Lost Time (Dramatized)  by Marcel Proust Narrated by James Wilby, Jonathan Firth, Harriet Walter, Imogen Stubbs, Corin Redgrave

    In Search of Lost Time (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (5 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Marcel Proust
    • Narrated By James Wilby, Jonathan Firth, Harriet Walter, and others
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (19)

    Featuring a fictional version of himself - 'Marcel' - and a host of friends, acquaintances, and lovers, In Search of Lost Time is Proust's search for the key to the mysteries of memory, time, and consciousness. As he recalls his childhood days, the sad affair of Charles Swann and Odette de Crecy, his transition to manhood, the tortures of love and the ravages of war, he realises that the simplest of discoveries can lead to astonishing possibilities.

    Pin says: "Absolutely First Class Drama!"
  • 4.5 (24 ratings)
    Othello (






UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare Narrated by Emma Fielding, Hugh Quarshie, Anton Lesser

    Othello

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 1 min)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Emma Fielding, Hugh Quarshie, Anton Lesser
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    This widely studied play is one of the "best sellers" of the Shakespeare canon. This production is the sixth Shakespeare play in the series undertaken by Naxos AudioBooks in conjunction with Cambridge University Press.

    TM says: "Great Performances - Classy Production"
  • The Importance of Being Earnest (






UNABRIDGED) by Oscar Wilde Narrated by James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, Neil Dickson, Jill Gascoine, Christopher Neame, Matthew Wolf

    The Importance of Being Earnest

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, and others
    Overall
    (544)
    Performance
    (442)
    Story
    (441)

    This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence." Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.

    Tad Davis says: "Delightfully silly"
  • Hamlet: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Simon Russell Beale, Imogen Stubbs, Jane Lapotaire, Bob Peck, Norman Rodway

    Hamlet: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Simon Russell Beale, Imogen Stubbs, Jane Lapotaire, and others
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Distressed by his father's death and his mother's over-hasty remarriage, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is faced by a specter from beyond the grave bearing a grim message of murder and revenge. The young prince is driven to the edge of madness by his struggle to understand the situation he finds himself in and to do his duty. Many others, including Hamlet's beloved, the innocent Ophelia, are swept up in his tragedy.

  • Othello (






UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare Narrated by Emma Fielding, Hugh Quarshie, Anton Lesser

    Othello

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 1 min)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Emma Fielding, Hugh Quarshie, Anton Lesser
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    This widely studied play is one of the "best sellers" of the Shakespeare canon. This production is the sixth Shakespeare play in the series undertaken by Naxos AudioBooks in conjunction with Cambridge University Press.

    TM says: "Great Performances - Classy Production"
  • Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus (






UNABRIDGED) by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Narrated by Jim Donaldson

    Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
    • Narrated By Jim Donaldson
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (122)

    Frankenstein is infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement and is also considered to be one of the earliest examples of science fiction. Includes introduction and commentary by Mary Shelley. Required reading for any fan of science fiction and horror genres. A classic.

    Darwin8u says: "A Monster of Fiction"
  •  
  • The Cherry Orchard  by Anton Chekhov Narrated by Marsha Mason, Full Cast

    The Cherry Orchard

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 44 mins)
    • By Anton Chekhov
    • Narrated By Marsha Mason, Full Cast
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    Chekhov's masterful last play, The Cherry Orchard, is a work of timeless, bittersweet beauty about the fading fortunes of an aristocratic Russian family and their struggle to maintain their status in a changing world. Alternately touching and farcical, this subtle, intelligent play stars the incomparable Marsha Mason.

    Andre says: "Wonderfully Vibrant Production"
  • The Seagull  by Anton Chekhov, Christopher Hampton (translator) Narrated by Calista Flockhart, T. R. Knight, Stephen Collins, Gordon Clapp, Logan Fahey, Dakin Matthews, Bess Rous

    The Seagull

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 50 mins)
    • By Anton Chekhov, Christopher Hampton (translator)
    • Narrated By Calista Flockhart, T. R. Knight, Stephen Collins, and others
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull is considered one of his most haunting and atmospheric character studies. A would-be playwright is at war with his egoistic mother while the town has become intoxicated by a sensational author. And as the alluring newcomer steals away Kosta’s only love, their new romance could have devastating consequences. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance.

  • Pride and Prejudice (






UNABRIDGED) by Jane Austen Narrated by Samantha Spiro, Full Cast

    Pride and Prejudice

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Samantha Spiro, Full Cast
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Samantha Spiro, David Troughton, and Amanda Root are among the cast of this new BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Jane Austen’s famous novel. Mrs Bennet is determined to see her five daughters married off and secure a future for them all. When the wealthy Mr Bingley arrives in the neighbourhood, Mrs Bennet wastes no time in making his acquaintance. His friend Mr Darcy, however, discourages Mr Bingley from marrying Jane Bennet, and also appears to snub her sister Elizabeth.

  • Much Ado About Nothing (






UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare Narrated by Full Cast

    Much Ado About Nothing

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Full Cast
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A Classic recording of Shakespeare's well-loved comedy. Cast including renowned Shakespearean actors John Gielgud, Peggy Ashcroft and Gary Watson.

  •  
  • Oedipus Rex (






ABRIDGED)  Narrated by Douglas Campbell

    Oedipus Rex

    • ABRIDGED (1 hr and 17 mins)
    • Narrated By Douglas Campbell
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Full-cast dramatization of Oedipus the King, the Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed c. 429 BCE. Featuring Douglas Campbell, Eric House and Robert Goodier.

    wlthlla says: "Not a bad story"
  • Pygmalion  by George Bernard Shaw Narrated by Shannon Cochran, Nicholas Pennell, full cast

    Pygmalion

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 39 mins)
    • By George Bernard Shaw
    • Narrated By Shannon Cochran, Nicholas Pennell, full cast
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (9)

    Pygmalion is a perceptive comedy about class relations and perceptions, as played out between a Cockney flower seller and the irascible speech professor who has taken her on as a project.

    Chris says: "Bilious Pidgeon"
  • Major Barbara (






UNABRIDGED) by George Bernard Shaw Narrated by Kate Burton, Roger Rees, J. B. Blanc, Matt Gaydos, Brian George, Hamish Linklater, Henri Lubatti

    Major Barbara

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 53 mins)
    • By George Bernard Shaw
    • Narrated By Kate Burton, Roger Rees, J. B. Blanc, and others
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Barbara is a major in the Salvation Army - but she's also the daughter of Andrew Undershaft, a man who's made millions from the sale of weapons of war. The real battle, however, rages between between the devilish father and his idealistic daughter as they answer the question: does salvation come through faith or finance? This sparkling comedy traverses family relations, religion, ethics and politics - as only Shaw, the master dramatist, can!

  • Understanding Literature and Life: Drama, Poetry and Narrative  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Arnold Weinstein

    Understanding Literature and Life: Drama, Poetry and Narrative

    • ORIGINAL (32 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Arnold Weinstein
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    The major texts of Western culture are a gateway to wisdom that can widen your views on self and society in enduring ways. And now you can examine its most important works - whether drama, poetry, or narrative - in this series of 64 penetrating lectures that reveal astonishing common ground.

    Saud says: "Could have been more"
  • Pride and Prejudice (






UNABRIDGED) by Jane Austen Narrated by Samantha Spiro, Full Cast

    Pride and Prejudice

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Samantha Spiro, Full Cast
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Samantha Spiro, David Troughton, and Amanda Root are among the cast of this new BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Jane Austen’s famous novel. Mrs Bennet is determined to see her five daughters married off and secure a future for them all. When the wealthy Mr Bingley arrives in the neighbourhood, Mrs Bennet wastes no time in making his acquaintance. His friend Mr Darcy, however, discourages Mr Bingley from marrying Jane Bennet, and also appears to snub her sister Elizabeth.

  • Macbeth: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Hugh Ross, Harriet Walter

    Macbeth: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Hugh Ross, Harriet Walter
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The brave warrior Macbeth allows himself to be persuaded by Lady Macbeth, his wife, to slay good King Duncan and seize the throne of Scotland for himself. Macbeth achieves his ambition, but one murder proves not to be enough as he desperately attempts to eliminate all who might threaten his ill-gotten power. Descending into paranoia, Macbeth achieves his ambition but ravages his soul.

  • Hamlet: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Simon Russell Beale, Imogen Stubbs, Jane Lapotaire, Bob Peck, Norman Rodway

    Hamlet: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Simon Russell Beale, Imogen Stubbs, Jane Lapotaire, and others
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Distressed by his father's death and his mother's over-hasty remarriage, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is faced by a specter from beyond the grave bearing a grim message of murder and revenge. The young prince is driven to the edge of madness by his struggle to understand the situation he finds himself in and to do his duty. Many others, including Hamlet's beloved, the innocent Ophelia, are swept up in his tragedy.

  • Julius Caesar: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Michael Feast, John Bowe, Adrian Lester

    Julius Caesar: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Michael Feast, John Bowe, Adrian Lester
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    At the heart of this tragic history is one of Shakespeare's most noble characters, the statesman Brutus, who is caught in a devastating conflict between private affection and public duty.

    Julius Caesar has become the most powerful man in the Rome. Does his power now threaten the very existence of the Republic itself? A conspiracy is hatched, one that will have fatal consequences not only for Caesar and the conspirators but for the future history of the ancient world.

  •  
  • Love's Labor's Lost: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Alex Jennings, Emma Fielding, Samantha Bond, Greg Wise, Alan Howard

    Love's Labor's Lost: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings, Emma Fielding, Samantha Bond, and others
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The young king of Navarre and three of his courtiers have vowed to lock themselves away for three years of study and fasting, and to forswear the company of women for this period. No sooner is their vow made than it is tested, however, as the princess of France and three of her ladies arrive in Navarre on a diplomatic mission. The young men fall instantly and hopelessly in love, and the tension between their vow and their passion forms the subject of this charming and sparkling early comedy.

  • Cymbeline: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Sophie Thompson, Ben Porter, Jack Shepherd, Suzanne Bertish, Stephen Mangan, Ron Cook

    Cymbeline: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Sophie Thompson, Ben Porter, Jack Shepherd, and others
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Imogen, the daughter of King Cymbeline, is persecuted by her wicked stepmother, the Queen, and by Cloten, the Queen's doltish son. Disguised as a boy, she sets out to find her husband, the banished Posthumus. On her journey, she unwittingly meets her two brothers, stolen from the court as infants. Posthumus, meanwhile, has been convinced by the villainous Iachimo that Imogen is unchaste and agrees to a test of her faithfulness.

  • Measure for Measure: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Simon Russell Beale, Roger Allam, Stella Gonet

    Measure for Measure: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Simon Russell Beale, Roger Allam, Stella Gonet
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Telling his followers he is leaving the city on affairs of state, the Duke of Vienna appoints the puritanical Angelo to govern in his absence. Will Angelo prove as virtuous as he seems once power is in his hands? Roaming the city disguised as a friar, the duke looks on as Angelo's lust for the virtuous Isabella sweeps him into the corruption he has so sternly condemned in others. The duke's manipulation at last produces a happy ending for this dark comedy, with its brilliant exploration of the themes of justice and mercy.

  • King John: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Michael Feast, Michael Maloney, Eileen Atkins

    King John: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Michael Feast, Michael Maloney, Eileen Atkins
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    King John of England is pitted against the united powers of France, Brittany, Austria, and the Papacy. Will England be destroyed by his fatal indecision? As alliances are made, broken, and remade, the paranoid and erratic John reveals his weakness and reliance on those around him - including his powerful mother, Queen Elinor, and Faulconbridge, the cynical and witty bastard son of the dead King Richard I.