(P) and ©1962, 1995 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., All Rights Reserved, Caedmon, An Imprint of Harper Audio, A Division of HarperCollins Publishers
This is a good, complete version that does not require filling in gaps to understand, or straining to comprehend the language. I like that the music fits in well.
This production is first-rate. Vanessa Redgrave is superb as Rosalind, Shakespeare's greatest comic heroine, and the supporting is great as well, especially the actors who play Touchstone and Jaques. My only complaint is that sometimes Redgrave is a bit hard to hear, since she tends to deliver Rosalind's sly innuendos sotto voce.
If you haven't previously encountered As You Like It in some form, be it print or performance, I don't recommend starting with this version. While I picked up on the overall plot, there were definitely points when I was completely lost because I wasn't sure who was speaking. This recording was also hard to hear in spots, which didn't help. The music was lovely though - this was the first time I've really understood how a chorus can contribute to a play.
"Dissappointing and dated"
I was dissapointed with this production. I understood that in the 60s Venessa Redgrave's Rosaline was a huge hit- but here I thought she sounded dated, arch and as if she were trying to project her lines to the back of the dress-circle.
The whole production is very much in the wide-mouthed, recieved-pronounciation school of Shakespearian acting.
The two redeeming features are that firstly it is unabridged, and secondly the music is (presumably) very authenic. These are really the only two reasons for anyone choosing this version over the excellent BBC production.
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