I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
I hesitated getting a long collection of plays in audio, concerned it might be too dry or boring. This collection of eight Shaw plays was performed wonderfully and was a joy to listen to. It turns out a collection of great plays is a really nice choice for a long drive with the family. These plays are still witty and penetrating. The casting is excellent with different enough voices to allow the characters to be clear. There are a few cases of stage-craft that you lose in audio-only; nevertheless the experience is well worth the time. This was the first collection of audible plays I have ordered, but having enjoyed it so much, I just ordered several more collections from the same theater company.
This is a collection of five live performances of Oscar Wilde plays. All of these were wonderful. My favorites were Lady Windermere’s Fan and The Importance of Being Earnest. The Picture of Dorian Gray was not really an Oscar Wilde play but an adaptation of the novel which used lines dialog from other Wilde plays, which was only disappointing because of just having heard the identical lines in the other, preceding plays. This was the best adaptation of Dorian Gray that I have either seen or heard. The performances are very good and the writing is both funny and engaging. This is one of the best collections of plays I have listened to.
Overall this was a wonderfully performed set of Noel Coward plays. I have listened to a number of plays on Audible and LA Theater Works knows how to produce plays for audio. This set of plays has a couple of great plays, several pleasant plays, and a couple of short plays that are witty, but not very interesting. My favorites of this set of plays were Design For Living and Blithe Spirit, both are first rate plays and excellent performances. These recordings really gave me the feeling of experiencing a live performance.
Fallen Angels is not a very deep play, but was wonderfully acted and quite funny. Hay Fever was even lighter, and my least favorite of the full plays in this set, nevertheless it was still well produced and worth the listen.
The plot of Private Lives is rather thin but the characters and dialog are both well written and well acted. Present Laughter is funny and has a bit of depth that makes it interesting.
There were two short plays Design for Rehearsing which is likely enjoyable if you have actually performed as an actor in Design for Living and Age Cannot Wither which has some wit but otherwise seems to be a one trick pony.
Although I could take or leave a bunch of these plays, the two great plays and a few others very good plays along with the uniformly good production values made this recording well worth the listen.
No-one can beat Sir Ian at this kind of thing. He's probably one of the greatest performers of classical text. He doesn't just recite the verse, he speaks it. He speaks every sentence with immaculately chosen intonations that communicate meaning and emotion perfectly. I can't imagine a better reader to bring out the depth and magic of Homer.