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Wilyum

Winston Salem, NC, United States

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  • BBC Radio Shakespeare: Henry IV, Part One (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Julian Glover, Jamie Glover, Full Cast
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (14)

    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.

    M. W. Roberts says: "Heavily abridged..."
    "Heavily abridged..."
    Overall

    Invariably, and inexcusably, BBC shortens Shakespeare, and they apply an ax rather than a scalpel. This is a particularly egregious example. As one would expect, the introducer emphasizes the genius that Falstaff represents as a comic creation, and he tells us: "It is said, that Elizabethan audiences used to stop cracking their nuts when Falstaff came on stage, so as not to miss a syllable. They had the right idea." To give you just an example: In Act I, scene two, 55 lines of a total of 215 are omitted, 30 of which are Falstaff's.

    This is not slightly abridging; it is butchery.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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