A gritty reimagining of Shakespeare's famous tragedy - full of passion, emotion, scandal, disillusionment and family fallout.
A brand new modern-day audiobook adaptation of William Shakespeare's classic love story.
Romeo and Jude - starring Owen Teale (Game of Thrones), Matthew Tennyson (Pride), Nick Moran (Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels) and Ricky Norwood (EastEnders).
An amateur dramatics company in a suburban corner of nowhere. Two men with very different lives, brought together when cast in the roles of Romeo and Juliet - 'as Shakespeare would have it', in the words of their eccentric and enigmatic director. Though the elicit romance doesn’t only play out on the stage.
Against the odds, our heroes struggle to keep hold of each other and to keep a handle on real life. As the pressures, threats and expectations of their worlds draw in, per Shakespeare's original, the pithy banter from the first few scenes evaporates away to reveal a very real and present danger...and even tragedy.
Contains strong language and adult themes.
©2015 Audible Ltd. (P)2015 Audible Ltd.
"Wonderful performances pepper this intriguing contemporary twist on Romeo and Juliet.... The full-cast delivers Shakespeare's words and emotions as convincingly as they deliver their off-stage personae.... In the smaller, more intimate, scenes, both plot and characters come alive." (AudioFile)
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
In this latest Audible Original Drama, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is contemporized with a fresh LGBT twist on the classic play as it explores gender and sexuality.
The setting is suburban England. Miranda is the new and rather strong-minded director in charge of producing Romeo and Juliet for the local amateur dramatics society. In Shakespeare's times, it was common for men to play female roles. But when Jude, a recent university drop-out in his twenties who is unapologetically sure of his sexual preference, is cast in the role of Juliet, suburbia feels uncomfortable. Jude's father is a terrible bully and homophobic. Ray, who is cast as Romeo, is a middle-aged recent divorcé and a failing business owner. To keep his cardboard company from folding, he is dependent on funding from Jude's father. So when life imitates art, and Ray and Jude fall in love, the proverbial .... hits the fan. Violence and tragedy ensue forcing Ray and Jude to go on the run across England.
As the story develops, so do the characters. Jude and Ray discover more things about themselves and who they really are or want to be. Apart from Ray and Jude, I particularly loved Miranda, the play director, who added a lot of hilarity to the play and also has her own tragic story play out.
Beautifully written, this was a very moving, in parts suspenseful, in parts funny, story about prejudice, about attitudes towards same-sex relationships and relationships with an age difference. It contains sex, violence, and strong language.
The voice actors were outstanding, and that applies to the entire cast. Whoever cast these voice artists into their respective roles for this production did a fantastic job. Every character sounded just right and gave the play a fantastic authentic feeling. The production was brilliant, the music was fitting, and the sound effects enhanced the experience.
If you like radio plays you will love this production and you don't need to be a Shakespeare connoisseur to enjoy this adaptation. It was quite different from what I would normally listen to, but I really enjoyed it and finished it in one sitting.
Audiobook was provided for review by the publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]
Of the hundreds of audiobooks I've listened to, this one was definitely among the top 10 for dramatizations. The actors were excellent and brought the story alive for me in a way I probably would not have experienced had I read it or listened to a narrated version. Romeo and Juliet is one of my least favorite Shakespearean plays, and I disliked the few reimaginings I've read more than the original, so the fact that I could like this at all speaks to the power of the performance.
I know that it had to be dramatic to stay true to the original storyline since R&J is a bit over the top, but their last interaction with Tyrone and the subsequent events felt a bit too "The Shining" meets "Thelma and Louise" for my taste. Until this point, the characters felt genuine so there may have been a better way to create the necessary increase in dramatic intensity without making this part of the story and the characters seem orchestrated and trite.
While Ray, Jude and Charlie are fantastic, Miranda stole ever scene in which she appeared.
For some reason I just couldn't get into this book. After about halfway through I gave up. Maybe it was the genre. I have been reading a lot of mystery, thriller and fantasy books lately. This one may have been a dose of reality I wasn't ready for at this time. I say all this because I don't want to discourage others from reading/listening to this book. If you like this genre, then you may enjoy it. The narrators are quite good. It's read like a play with scene pauses. I was surprised with how easy it was to picture everything like I was there. Unfortunately, I had to rate it low since I couldn't finish it.
Husband, Dad, Principal, Adjunct prof, RC Deacon, radio co-host, story teller, NYer, walker, & occasional sipper of fine whisk(e)y,
It was a wild ride - challenging quite a bit of my comfort zone, but worth the ride!
This is definitely rated R as opposed to the PG13 Shakespeare version. But it is a beautifully acted and well-constructed story. I love the appearance of Shakespeare's language and various nods in the storytelling to the traditions of Shakespeare's day and to the operatic scale of his dramas. But, alas, a tragedy after all.
"Brilliant - but not how you'd expect it!"
This isn't quite how I expected it - a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, with Jude instead of Juliet. It's better. In it, a theatrical group put on a performance of Romeo and Juliet, but due to a lack of good actresses, 'Jude' must play Juliet. Romeo is reluctant at first, but over time, they fall in love - and what makes it better, is how their lives out of the play echo Shakespeare's Tragedy, with the difference in families and views.
I've been captivated by it, and have listened to it three times. I really would recommend it.
Such a brilliant re-telling, with brilliant acting, a gripping story, and a fitting soundtrack. It pulls you in, and doesn't let you go until the end.
Loved this story so much.. gripped from start to finish. Funny, witty scary & charming.
I thought I could listen to this over a few days. Day 1 and I was on chapter 11. Truly gripping, brilliantly acted. Amazing. Can't praise enough.
"Really enjoyed the story and production,"
Great take on a classic, I did not want it to end, great reading and solid production, very believable .. great love story
True to the classic, but utterly original.
Performed incredibly well and adapted beautifully for the modern age.
Best of the form, methinks.
"Shakespeare himself would cry listening to this"
Oh definitely. The most incredible listen for ages. At times I couldn't tell when it was Shakespeare's original work and when it was the modern fiction. The performances, of which there are many and on so many different levels, are amazing and draw you in to it.
Abigail Tartelin's Golden Boy which also took me from laughter to tears (and I'm a man so I don't cry!!!!) throughout the story. Both books created characters that you fell in love with and developed an immense empathy for ... even the despicable ones!
Blackpool....seeing the characters roles shift and change and realising the depth and vulnerability of the 3 key players. There must be a story here to tell Miranda's own story?
Worth booking a hotel somewhere that's a 6 hour drive away just to listen to this on one sitting and then recover over a bottle of wine.
"Yes, well I didn't believe the reviews"
I must have close to 300 audio books from Audible and most are well produced, the stories are between quite good and very good. This is the funniest, most interesting book and production I have from Audible. I know it is a gay book but it is so much more and as the story teller says the boys were the girls in Shakespeare's time as girls were not allowed on stage. This deserves 5 stars in all categories.
Now a thought or several thoughts come to mind. Can you imagine a Dream on a Midsummer night and Lysander falling for Bottom or Titania, Queen of the Faries falling for, well need I say. Now I look at Twelfth Night and can you imagine anyone getting so turned on over crossed garters! Perhaps not these days but in the 16th century you just never know. Finally another title might follow on from "As You Like It". There are so many possibilities in that play that it could take the author years to complete but how juicy, how naughty, how absolutely delicious! I know your readers might think me mad but it does get the old grey cells thinking.
Buy it, listen to it and just very simply enjoy it whether you are straight or gay. Most straight guys can imagine themselves put in such an awkward embarasing position and shy completely away from the book but can they stop themselves from secretely reading (listening) and funnily enjoying such a well written book.
To the author, thank you.
Entertaining for a while, but so unlikely and exaggerated you end up thinking the writer is having a laugh. I really struggled to finish it.
"If you've ever been in love, you should listen."
Full disclosure: I commissioned this title for Audible Originals UK. However, I wanted to write a review at this stage, to outline the fact that I TRULY LOVE IT. Despite having listened to R&J countless times in production and edit, I have now listened to this drama 3 further times and have found myself laughing out loud, in tears and fully caught up in the fast-moving action - all credit to the work of Marty Ross and Wireless Theatre Company.
Although genre-wise this title may be regarded as specialist or niche as it concerns the love affair between a younger and older man, it is my firm conviction that everyone who has ever been in love should listen; R&J is a pure and simple tale of love against the odds...which is not without its fair share of thrills. Did I mention that Nick Moran and Ricky 'Fatboy from Eastenders' Norwood play some really nasty homophobic gangsters? There's conflict, action, sex, love and a moving study of dysfunctional societal and family dynamics in this fully dramatised piece. I challenge you to remain unmoved. I, for one, will be listening again soon.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.