Shakespeare's most imaginative and merry play is set in an enchanted wood amidst fairies and sprites.
When Oberon, King of the Fairies, uses his magic upon four runaway lovers in a midsummer wood outside Athens, chaos ensues. Who really loves whom? Meanwhile, a band of well-meaning but bungling local actors have their rehearsal sabotaged by the mischievous Puck, who bewitches their leader, Bottom, and Titania, the Fairy Queen. The result is a lively and anarchic comedy which can only be resolved by an elaborate disentangling of spells.
Hermia is played by Amanda Root, Oberon by David Harewood, and Bottom by Roy Hudd.
Public Domain (P)2014 Blackstone Audio
I am an avid reader, I love a good book more than almost anything.
I love Shakespeare, but these are the worst narrator I have EVER heard.
That it was a play by William Shakespeare.
The completely faux Jamaican accents of Oberon and his queen completely ruined the tale. They were almost offensive.
I cannot recommended this audio book. Offensive is putting it mildly.
In all the years that I have been a member of Audible, this is the very first time I can say a book was simply awful. Save your money save your time.
A Midsummer's Night Dream has more physical comedy than most of Shakespeare's plays, and you're missing out if you don't see Oberon and Titania and the rest of the fairy court, so I wasn't sure how enjoyable this purely audio presentation would be. But it's a delight. Oberon and Titania are otherworldly, and sound effects make it clear what's going on to make up for the lack of visual cues.
This is a comedy about two pairs of youths, one in love and the other couple both in unrequited love. Their flight into the fairy woods, a well-intentioned fairy king (and a not so well-intentioned Puck), a troop of actors, and a quarreling fairy royal couple, all collide in a funny, magical fantasy that gets untangled with a happy ending, unlike Shakespeare's other famous play about star-crossed lovers.
Definitely a great way to experience this play, although still better on stage.
I have to admit this has never been one of my favorite plays: I don't care much for fairies, even in the gentle guise they take here. The lovers are interchangeable. And it's hard to get excited about the conflict between Titania and Oberon.
The play stands or falls, for me, by the quality of the "rude mechanicals." Fortunstley no worries here: they're an outstanding bunch, totally believable in their earnest incompetence, and the production of "Pyramus and Thisbe" recorded here is one of the funniest I've heard.
I'm not familiar with the cast members in this production, apart from Amanda Root. It's a spirited cast, though, and Bottom indeed has no bottom.
The music by Dominique le Gendre is as always excellent.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
MY EYE, YOUR EYE
For a person like me who has problems visioning the printed word in my head, reading Shakespeare first, maybe trice and then listening makes a big difference. The language is so beautiful and comes out clearly in this recording, yet at times I was lost in the story. I am not sure I ever figured out the conclusion of what happened to the couples who were in love and then out of love, thinks to the incompetent fairies. This is a short story or stories and would be a good place for the novice to start. First, you should have one of the many copies of the complete works of Shakespeare, read the story, get to know it and then listen. I am going to go back and reread this story which I have not read in years. I did understand most of it and even laughed out loud a few times. The lyrical words themselves makes this worth listening to.
Removal of the echo, revamping the background sounds, completely detracts from the whole experience
Yes, I would be hesitant in purchasing dramatized Shakespeare again, or similar such.
it was lost in the editing. the niggling laughing, the background noise is epilepsy for my ears.
If you are considering buying this book, give it a skip, a really, really big skip
I found this performance torturous at times and I'm sure everyone thought that heavy Jamaican accents were a great idea for the fairy characters but I found it very distracting and at times hard to follow. It's a very complicated story. The thing that tortured me the most was the animal sound which I assumed was supposed to be from a pig or boar character or it might have been a mule... There was no variation, just the same sound over and over. Eventually, I just wanted it to be over...
I chose this version because of the clarity of the actor voices during the preview. However, I did not realize there would be no narrated stage directions, which made it harder to follow. Additionally, too much attention was paid to creating ambient noise to set the scene. It ended up occasionally overpowering the actors and the fairies (especially Oberon) are REALLY hard to understand because of the echo.
Performances of Shakespeare are always preferable to print because the actors and interpretation bring life to the story.
I love the Rude Mechanicals both rehearsing and doing their play, and I really enjoy the ending scene with the blessing of the house and Puck's goodbye.
Oberon and Titania were my favorites here, and I love the added layer of the Jamaican accents for the characters.
It made me laugh. It's a comedy!
This is Shakespeare well done, and I thought the audio effects contributed nicely including the music. I did think that sometimes the background noises and music were a bit too loud. If there were a little better balance it would have be easier to focus on the language of the play itself.
The play - amazing as always.
The performances - on point. (though I saw a review that nuked the Jamaican accents, I thought they were perfectly fine).
The stage sound and Echo ... A bit of improvement could be used.
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