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Robert

Twinsburg, OH, USA

8
HELPFUL VOTES
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  • 16 titles in library
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  • King Richard III

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Kenneth Branagh, Geraldine McEwan, Nicholas Farrell, and others
    Overall
    (87)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (41)

    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.

    Donald says: "Another NAXOS masterpiece!"
    "Not the best Richard III"
    Overall

    Trust me... this is not the Richard III you want. The one you want is the Caedmon version (also on Audible). It's older and the recording itself is not as good, but the performances are dead-on and amazing.

    Kenneth Branagh (a guy who is an amazing actor, don't get me wrong) delivers a flat-line Richard. Richard is no fun in this version. He takes no evil pleasure in his manipulations... it's almost like he's just going through the motions. Several of the scenes are just plain lifeless! Sure, the production value is good and the actors are quality, but you won't find magic here.

    In the Caedmon version, Robert Stephens plays Richard III, and from the first scene, he charms you into playing along with his "inductions dangerous." And the rest of the characters are so much more full than in the Branagh version. Clarence is truly sympathetic in the Caedmon version (here, he's just pathetic). Queen Margaret is truly engaging, where her thirst for revenge has almost turned her into one of Macbeth's weird sisters. I'm not sure who plays Queen Elizabeth, but when she delivers the line "My reasons are too deep and dead," it's harrowing.

    Kenny will serve you in other plays, but leave this one and look for Bobby. The Caedmon recording quality will annoy you on occassion, but I promise you, the acting will more than make up for it.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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