According to an article I read on the live performance of this play in London, some critics gave Ejiofor positive reviews while McGregor and Reilly did not fare as well. Whip me such foolish critics! Others there are who recognize McGregor's rendition of Honest Iago as nearly flawless; who can see that he pulls off the relentlessly ruminative diabolical genius with precision. And such a one do I profess myself. I've listened to many audible dramatizations of Shakespeare, and this one is probably the best.
My chief criterion in evaluating a dramatized performance of Shakespeare is that none of the lines are left out, save a few words here and there. Secondly, I also appreciate accurate sound effects, and a subtle "soundtrack," and a good overall recording quality. By all of these measurements this Naxos production of Hamlet scores well. The main problem is that, in a couple of scenes, Hamlet himself starts speaking way too fast for one to take in the lines. One might argue that this play is soooo long that, since this company has - quite justifiably - decided to remain loyal to Shakespeare's script, it only makes sense that they would have to hurry it up a bit. A few reviewers have failed to take the validity of this argument into account. The BBC Shakespeare productions are invariably bad about leaving out large chunks of important dialog. Any geek like you or me who listens to audible dramatizations of Shakespeare will insist on every verse being spoken.
Fantastic, subtle sound effects, well cast, superbly acted, and, unlike the BBC version, it does not omit any lines - thus, we have a terrific audible rendition of Shakespeare's play.
Let's admit it, Shakespeare is daunting! I have a goal to read all of the plays, and then perhaps the sonnets, etc., but sometimes I don't know where to start. When I found this audio book that includes a commentary, I snapped it up. I could listen to and enjoy the fabulous play, but when I got lost or just didn't understand something, the commentator was there to help. She helped me understand word usage of the time, symbolism, and other useful things that are jam-packed in this play and make it the classic that it is. For me it was perfect. You can listen without the commentary as well, for people who would rather not have those comments going on but want to hear some great readers performing this play. I will definitely pick up other titles in this series.