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.
An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring: James Marsters as Macbeth; Joanne Whalley as Lady Macbeth; Josh Cooke as Banquo and others; J.D. Cullum as Macduff and Second Murderer; Dan Donohue as Ross; Jeannie Elias as Second Witch and others; Chuma Gault as Lennox and Servant; Jon Matthews as Malcolm; Alan Shearman as Angus and others; André Sogliuzzo as Donalbain, Third Witch and others; Kate Steele as Lady Macduff, First Witch and Apparition; Kris Tabori as Duncan and others.
Directed by Martin Jarvis. Sound effects by Tony Palermo. Recorded at the Invisible Studios, West Hollywood, in May 2011.
Public Domain (P)2011 L.A. Theatre Works
I greatly enjoyed listening to this full-cast performance. There was great chemistry between the lead cast Mr. Marsters and Mrs. Whalley which sparked the story.
The sound effects were appropriate and didn't distract. A few of the male voices sounded similar, so sometimes it took a while to distinguish the different characters (if you are not very familiar with the lines)
All in all a production in the typical LATW quality and a bargain if you look at the price.
I felt sad when each character died including Macbeth and Lady M which is a testament to the actors. Macbeth was courageous to the end; a true warrior who got greedy and caused so much chaos that he had to be stopped. This production tells this story believably. It is acted well, the sound is clear and special effects add to the experience. Upon further listenings, the lesser lines of the play rise up to the surface. This is a recording that deserves to be played more than once.
Ok, unless you have the play memorized, this is hard to follow without the characters before you on the stage, but it is still just EXCELLENT. Don't let that difficulty stop you, just listen to this with the play or a guide in front of you, so you always remember who is speaking and where they are.
I bought this after listening to Gielgud's Hamlet, as it was among the highest ranked Shakespeare dramatizations. But ... wow ... it's a truly awful performance by all save Lady MacBeth, who stands out and tries valiantly to carry the cast around her.
I honestly thought back to high school, when our poor English teachers had to listen to 25 pasty kids reading beautiful soliloquies in an uninterested monotone. In places, the voices are so similar and droning that it's difficult to tell the characters apart.
Give this one a miss.
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