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Publisher's Summary

BBC Radio has a unique heritage when it comes to Shakespeare. Since 1923, when the newly formed company broadcast its first full-length play, generations of actors and producers have honed and perfected the craft of making Shakespeare to be heard.

Those decades of experience come to fruition in this production. The intimacy of radio gives full rein to the power of Shakespeare's language, taking the listener into the very centre of Hamlet's emotional and moral turmoil.

Revitalised, original, and comprehensive, this is Shakespeare for the new millennium.

(P)1999 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Enjoyable

This is a very good reading of Hamlet and any lover of the material will enjoy it. I especially loved Michael Sheen's characterization of the melancholy dane. He was unstable, angry and emotional. In my opinion, this is exactly how Hamlet SHOULD be played. As I listened I could visualize everything in my head as though I were watching it on a screen. In fact, I am now eager to see Michael Sheen play Hamlet on stage (apparently he will be doing so in London in 2011). I recommend this audiobook version of Hamlet to all Hamlet fans.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

For use in my English class

Would you consider the audio edition of BBC Radio Shakespeare to be better than the print version?

No, but I think that reading the play while listening to this enhances the experience, for this fully dramatized version has different actors for all the parts and the sound effects enhance many of the Acts, especially the final battle.

Any additional comments?

I use this audio version in my classroom, and it really helps my students to follow along with the audio as we read the play. The performance is the best version of Hamlet I have heard.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

An Excellent Version for Students

Michael Sheen (Hamlet) and Kenneth Cranham (Polonius) give especially memorable performances in a well-executed version of Shakespeare's famous tragedy.

I used this audiobook while studying the play for a university course and found that reading along with the audiobook added depth and understanding to the text.

Well worth it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

high marks for this version

I've recently listened to several of the plays and this Hamlet a few times in past couple of weeks and I have to say this is a very good version: well acted, nice production and vigorous performances that I liked for Hamlet and Claudius particularly. The man in Claudius role sounds like James Mason. All in all a good performance. & as much as I respect Gielgud his audio version here feels so slow and ponderous that I have trouble with it. I also like the Branagh film version very much with a couple of caveats, but accessible. All the plays can be performed with such a range of approach that it is informative to pick up on a different intonation/emphasis of even a single word that makes you think, wait a minute, I never realized that aspect before, or that's a new approach. Literally a "poem unlimited."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • Halifax, NS, Canada
  • 01-03-11

Does the job

Michael Sheen is a very good Dane - excitable and passionate. Everyone else is competent but forgettable.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • Bellevue, WA, United States
  • 01-21-10

I wanted to love it

But just didn't. I think most likely wasn't the material, but the medium. While there was different voices for different characters, it was hard to follow who was saying what and how the story tied together. Probably better read than listened to.

1 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ms
  • 12-09-13

Gripping Version

Would you consider the audio edition of BBC Radio Shakespeare to be better than the print version?

This version of Hamlet brings Shakespeare's drama to life. Martin Sheen and a fantastic supporting cast do justice to the fact that all Shakespeare's plays were written to be performed. The actor's voices lift the word off the page.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Hamlet, not surprisingly, is the towering presence in this version as Sheen adds new meaning to familiar speeches but I also enjoyed the portrayal of Ophelia as a strong female character, making her demise all the more poignant.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Experienced actors bring new meaning and understanding to the play, which is in itself astoundingly relevant despite it's age and longevity.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Beware the smiling assassin!

Any additional comments?

Loved it! Especially useful if you are studying the play at school or University

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • 09-30-15

Stellar cast bring play to life

Superb cast make this not only highly listenable but also very comprehensible. You might think that an audio-only Shakespeare play would be hard to follow, with characters entering and exiting, but this production works very well. It rattles along at a brisk pace, and grips with the layers of deceit and evil. Kenneth Cranham, as the murderous Claudius, particularly oozes with horrible charm.