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Philip

Philip Tonbridge, United Kingdom Member Since 2007
HELPFUL VOTES
125
ratings
REVIEWS
44
43
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
180
0
  • "excellent production"

    Overall

    This is excellent. admittedly it's rather slow, and not the most exciting play Shakespeare ever wrote- but this audio book has tremendous charm, I've listened to it repeatedly.

    It's the BBC, of course- and it shows; excellent cast and superbly produced with all those tiny sound effects- rain, a bird cry, the click of billiard balls- which one barely notices but which make it all seem real.

    I remember a critic writing that he found all Samuel West's performances strangely cold. If that is true it suits the role of Richard ii, he really captures the peevish, self-pitying poetry.

    I forget who plays Harry of Hereford, but he's excellent, a real feeling of vigor and action with the right degree of temper and coldness. His charismatic brute force carries along the play- and he does very well with some of the doggerel he has to spout.

    The only real flaw is the sound effects- symbolic objects, such as crowns, give off a mystical vibration, which is fine for crowns. Unfortuately gauntlets also give off a peculiar sound and in the scene where everyone is throwing down their gauntlets it sounds like a row in a tin-can factory.

    The other draw back is that the BBC didn't cast this and the two Henry IVs together.

    More

    BBC Radio Shakespeare: Richard II (Dramatised)

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Samuel West, Joss Ackland, Full Cast
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    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.

    Philip says: "excellent production"
  • "fast and charming"

    Overall

    This is excellent stuff- light, fast, convincing and fun. Well done to the BBC for playing it as a comedy and sliding nimbly over the moral issues. No one would argue that the attitude of the young Venetian men to Jews was a nice one- but the play needs them to be amusing company- not over blessed with brain, certainly, but young, active, in love and full of joie de vivre.

    Warren Mitchell gives a thoroughly Jewish and nuanced Shylock- a comic villian with just the right edge of pathos, he really lives and breathes and burns with a growing lust for revenge. He manages the feat of growing worse and becoming more poigiant at the same time

    Martin Jarvis is nicely balanced and not too self-pitying as Antonio- he is possibly a little bit too benevelent to carry off the hating of Shylock.

    Samuel West (that gift to Shakespeare audio) is, of course, an excellent Bassiano- though I thought him a bit too short tempered- as if, perhaps, afraid to make a jew-hater sound too nice. Bassiano, surely, as the centre of affection in the play should be the personification of charm.

    But the highlight of the recording as to be Juliet Aubrey as Portia- her marvellous low voice glides through Shakespeare's lines in a gloriously measured way- equally excellent in comedy scenes as in the court room- Oh she's marvellous, buy it just for her.

    The one drawback is that they have abridged the play- not drastically, just slimmed it down here and there and changed the odd word- but it is very quick and charming and at the end one almost believes that even Shylock might live happily ever after.

    More

    BBC Radio Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice (Dramatised)

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 1 min)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Warren Mitchell, Martin Jarvis, Samuel West, and others
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    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.

    Philip says: "fast and charming"
  1. BBC Radio Shakespeare: Ri...
  2. BBC Radio Shakespeare: Th...
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