Three powerful radio productions from the BBC archives starring Ian McKellen, Ronald Pickup and Paul Scofield and a host of celebrated acting talent. These three legendary plays, performed by some of the best-known theatrical actors of the 20th century, are the perfect way to commemorate England's greatest dramatist.
"Sparknotes is genius."
The best known of Chaucer's Canterbury's Tales, read by Dame Peggy Ashcroft. After a prologue, in which the Wife of Bath mentions that she would welcome another husband - who would be her sixth - and that she pursues power over her husbands, she tells a tale about a knight who must marry....
A king's mad jealousy tears his family apart in this rich, tragicomic play, one of Shakespeare's last. When King Leontes suspects his wife, Hermione, has been unfaithful, he sends her to prison, where she gives birth to a daughter. Assuming the baby is not his, Leontes orders that she be left to die on a desert shore. He spends the next 16 years grieving over his error, until the fateful day his long-lost daughter Perdita returns.
"Audio not up to par"
A tragedy, a comedy, and a history all rolled into one, the story of the tyrannical Richard III ranks among Shakespeare's most popular plays. Opening with the famous "Now is the winter of our discontent" soliloquy, this masterful work follows its antihero as he plots to steal the throne of England, causing murder and mayhem all along the way. A full cast, including Robert Stephens and Dame Peggy Ashcroft, brings this devilishly entertaining work to life.
"Good audio version"
King Leontes of Bohemia suspects his wife, Hermione, and his friend, Polixenes, of betraying him. When he forces Polixenes to flee for his life, Leontes sets in motion a chain of events that lead to death, a ferocious bear, an infant left in the snow, young love, and a statue coming to life. Sir John Gielgud and Dame Peggy Ashcroft lead a cast recording of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.
Peggy Ashcroft and Tony Britton star in this 1971 BBC Radio production of Noël Coward’s classic comedy about a disastrous weekend house party. Judith Bliss is a famous actress who, after a string of successful roles, has retired to her country retreat. Missing the adulation of her public, she has has invited a fan over for a weekend of uninterrupted adoration - unaware that the rest of her family has company arriving too.
This recording contains four of Katherine Mansfield's best stories. In The Daughter of the Late Colonel, two sisters are recently bereaved; while in Her First Ball a young girl attends her first dance. The Singing Lesson features Miss Meadows, a music teacher in turmoil; and in The Strangers, a middle-aged couple are reunited.
Hear the finest actors who have performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company perform some of the Bard's most treasured speeches. This recording includes world-class actors John Gielgud, Vanessa Redgrave, Peggy Ashcroft, and Edith Evans in a collection of favourite Shakespearean scenes.
Dame Peggy Ashcroft reads poems by Wordsworth, Byron, Tennyson, Shakespeare and Chaucer.
Richard III is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1591, depicting the Machiavellian rise to power and subsequent short reign of Richard III of England. The play is grouped among the histories in the First Folio and is most often classified as such.The play begins with Richard describing the accession to the throne of his brother, King Edward IV of England, eldest son of the late Richard, Duke of York.