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.
"Enjoyable all-cast performance"
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.
The sense of difficulty, and indeed of awe, with which a scholar approaches the task of translating the Agamemnon depends directly on its greatness as poetry. It is in part a matter of diction. The language of Aeschylus is an extraordinary thing, the syntax stiff and simple, the vocabulary obscure, unexpected, and steeped in splendor. Its peculiarities cannot be disregarded or the translation will be false in character.
The most iconic love story of all time, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is an epic-scale tragedy of desire and revenge. Despite the bitter rivalry that exists between their families, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet have fallen madly in love. But when the long-running rivalry boils over into murder, the young couple must embark on a dangerous and deadly mission to preserve their love at any cost. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Calista Flockhart as Juliet.
"Dramatized drama at its best..."
The Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection, brings Julius Caesar to life with this new full-length, full-cast dramatic recording of its definitive Folger Edition.
"Reliving the past"
Four classic comedies from one of the wittiest playwrights in Western literature: Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, and The Importance of Being Earnest, all featuring star-studded casts with the likes of Jacqueline Bisset, Miriam Margolyes, James Marsters, Alfred Molina, Roger Rees, Yeardley Smith, Eric Stoltz, and many more. This audio also includes a chilling dramatization of Wilde's sole novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
BBC Radio has a unique heritage when it comes to Shakespeare. Since 1923, when the newly formed company broadcast its first full-length play, generations of actors and producers have honed and perfected the craft of making Shakespeare to be heard.
"Come...bid me do anything for thee."
Ever since the first night at the St James' Theatre on 14 February 1895, The Importance of Being Earnest has been recognised as one of the world's finest comic dramas. Now Judi Dench as Lady Bracknell leads an outstanding cast in this superb new production of Wilde's masterpiece, mounted to celebrate the centenary of the first performance.
"Wonderfully entertaining ear-candy"
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.
In Sophocles' tragedy, Oedipus discovers that he has been caught in his terrible destiny, unknowingly murdering his father and marrying his mother.
Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare’s most compelling Roman plays. The plot against Caesar and the infamous assassination scene make for unforgettable listening. Brutus, the true protagonist of the play, is mesmerizing in his psychological state of anguish, forced to choose between the bonds of friendship and his desire for patriotic justice.
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars"
Star of stage, film, and television Alan Cumming delivers a virtuoso performance playing every role in the National Theatre of Scotland's bold presentation of Shakespeare's chilling tale of desire, ambition, and the supernatural. This radical reimagining of one of Shakespeare's most deeply psychological plays is set in a psychiatric unit in which Cumming is the lone patient. Channeling the story of Macbeth, he is inhabited in turn by each of the characters of the drama, including some of Shakespeare's most complex and troubled creations.
"Second best to seeing this performance"
Lady Susan is an epistolary novel by Jane Austen about a beautiful and manipulative widow scheming to arrange wealthy marriages for herself and her daughter. This book is the basis for the film Love & Friendship, written and directed by Whit Stillman, and starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny. This dramatized production is presented by the Online Stage.
In the hands of Sophocles, the master dramatist, the anguished tale of a man fated to kill his father and marry his mother retains its power to shock and move beyond any Freudian reference.
"Crackles with Fire"
Written in 1593, King Richard III is one of Shakespeare's earliest plays. This play differs from its predecessors, being amore structured piece, examining the development and motivations of a single character, Richard Duke of Gloucester, who will stop at nothing to gain control of the throne occupied by his brother Edward IV.
"Another NAXOS masterpiece!"
After the death of their father, Oedipus, Antigone and Ismene return to Thebes. The ruler is their unyielding uncle by marriage, Creon, who assumed command after the death of the sons of Oedipus, Eteocles, and Polynices in a fratricidal struggle to take control of the city. Creon has the body of one brother buried with full civic honors but forbids the burial of the body of the other, whom he regards as a traitor. Antigone's challenge to Creon's decree, which she considers unjust, results in the extinction of the family line of Oedipus.
Christopher Marlowe's play about a man who sells his soul to the devil is not only one of the first of many works to explore this theme but also one of the most startling. Eschewing the usual division of the drama into acts, it presents the story of Faustus' fall in a series of apparently disconnected scenes. However, the integrity of the drama is maintained by the remorseless unraveling of Faustus' fortunes as he approaches his inevitable damnation.
Initially banned in France by King Louis, Molière's celebrated social satire Tartuffe exposes false piety and hypocrisy in the Catholic Church. When a pious fraud worms his way into a wealthy family and manipulates the patriarch into giving up his fortune, it’s up to his family to expose the truth before they end up in the poorhouse!
"Such a fun and pleasant read!!"
The body of Polynices, Antigone's brother, has been ordered to remain unburied by Creon, the new king of Thebes. Antigone defies the law, sealing her fate. Originally produced in Paris during the Nazi occupation, Anouilh's Antigone was seen by the French as theatre resistance and by Germans as an affirmation of authority.
"A classic is given a fabulous update!"
Six phenomenally sophisticated Noël Coward comedies: Fallen Angels, Hay Fever, Private Lives, Design for Living, Blithe Spirit, Present Laughter.
"Bravo Mr. Coward"
"He came out of the earth hating. Hate was his father; hate was his mother."
Ray Bradbury's Pillar of Fire is a touring theatrical reading by Emmy Award winner Bill Oberst Jr., abridged from Bradbury's dark, violent, and poetic novella of the same name. In this exclusive production for Audible, Oberst recreates an award-winning stage performance of the tale Bradbury called "a rehearsal for Fahrenheit 451."
"Excellent Theatrical Reading"
A magical tale of love frustrated, tested, and finally triumphant, A Midsummer Night's Dream has always been one of Shakespeare's most popular plays. It is also one of his most accessible, and its broad humor remains vivid and compelling to this day. On the serious side, as a dramatic examination of love in all its guises - romantic, conjugal, filial, parental, and patriotic - A Midsummer Night's Dream has never been surpassed.
Although he achieved notable success as a novelist, poet, essayist, and painter, August Strindberg is best known today as one of the first and most significant masters of naturalist theatre. Among his many dramatic works are a number of one-act plays, four of which are presented in this recording. All of the plays feature a persistent theme in Strindberg's works: the inevitable disillusion that results from intense involvement in relationships, whether they be familial, romantic or circumstantial.
The Swedish playwright August Strindberg was one of the founding fathers of naturalistic theater. A feature of many of his plays is the minute dissection of attitude and motivation by individuals within tightly bound groups. As in the present drama, such relentless inspection of behavior often has drastic consequences. Thekla, married to the needy Adolf, has a surprise encounter with her former husband, the lordly Gustav. Or is it really a surprise?
A classic performance of one of the Bard's classics.
Passion and intrigue among the upper classes form the basis of Lady Windermere's Fan, Oscar Wilde's first successful play, which displays his trademark wit and wisdom. Beautiful and innocent Lady Windermere finds out that her husband has been keeping company with the scandalous and mysterious Mrs. Erlynne. Her discovery unleashes a host of tensions at her 21st birthday party, where London's elite have gathered to gossip.
Despite its patina of humor, the work is a merciless exposé of the commercial middle class dishonesty, and the convenient immorality hiding behind social conventions, which are characteristic of a developing urban society. The most noble character, Serafima, is a compelling mixture of naïveté, whimsicality, sentimentality, and obstinate practicality - one of the finest character portraits in Russian drama.