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.
A collection of BBC radio full-cast dramatisations of Jane Austen's six major novels. Jane Austen is one of the finest writers in the English language, and this volume includes all six of her classic novels. Mansfield Park: on a quest to find a position in society, Fanny Price goes to live with her rich aunt and uncle. Northanger Abbey: young, naïve Catherine Morland receives an invitation to stay at the isolated Gothic mansion Northanger Abbey.
The major texts of Western culture are a gateway to wisdom that can widen your views on self and society in enduring ways. And now you can examine its most important works - whether drama, poetry, or narrative - in this series of 64 penetrating lectures that reveal astonishing common ground.
"Interesting, Informative English Literature course"
Tom Hiddleston (The Night Manager) stars as Jonathan Harker, with David Suchet (Poirot) as Dracula in Liz Lochhead's powerful BBC radio adaptation of the classic novel by Bram Stoker. When solicitor Jonathan Harker sets off for Transylvania to sell the mysterious Count Dracula a Gothic mansion, his bride-to-be, Mina, begs him to stay - to no avail. But on arrival at Dracula's castle, deep in a black forest surrounded by wolves, Harker wishes he had listened to his fiancée.
"Another Modern Update Failure"
Ever since the first night at the St James' Theatre on 14 February 1895, The Importance of Being Earnest has been recognised as one of the world's finest comic dramas. Now Judi Dench as Lady Bracknell leads an outstanding cast in this superb new production of Wilde's masterpiece, mounted to celebrate the centenary of the first performance.
"I could never marry a man called Earnest!"
Featuring a fictional version of himself - 'Marcel' - and a host of friends, acquaintances, and lovers, In Search of Lost Time is Proust's search for the key to the mysteries of memory, time, and consciousness. As he recalls his childhood days, the sad affair of Charles Swann and Odette de Crecy, his transition to manhood, the tortures of love and the ravages of war, he realises that the simplest of discoveries can lead to astonishing possibilities.
"BBC does Proust proud"
A brand-new BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Aldous Huxley's classic dystopian novel, set in the future and widely considered one of the greatest novels of all time.
When the crew of the Oceanus rescued a man close to death, its captain could barely have guessed at the incredible story that man would come to share. This is the story of Victor Frankenstein: a man obsessed with discovering the secret of life and cheating death; a man who brings to life to a body built from corpses; and a man who rejects this would-be child.... Soon Victor and his creature are entangled in a dangerous game of cat and mouse across Europe. But who is truly the monster?
"only aprox 3hrs long"
Four classic comedies from one of the wittiest playwrights in Western literature: Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, all featuring star-studded casts with the likes of Jacqueline Bisset, Miriam Margolyes, James Marsters, Alfred Molina, Roger Rees, Yeardley Smith, Eric Stoltz, and many more. Also includes a chilling dramatization of Wilde's sole novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Stephen Fry narrates this full-cast dramatisation of the famous Victorian comic novel, a portrait of English society and its mores, with Emma Fielding as Becky Sharp. Duration: 5 hours approx.
Charles Dickens' classic Yuletide tale is one of the most popular tales of personal redemption in world literature, and has been adapted many times for presentation on film and on stage.
Written in 1593, King Richard III is one of Shakespeare's earliest plays. This play differs from its predecessors, being amore structured piece, examining the development and motivations of a single character, Richard Duke of Gloucester, who will stop at nothing to gain control of the throne occupied by his brother Edward IV.
Fanny Burney's wickedly funny satire follows the trials and romantic adventures of the young and beautiful Evelina as she tries to make her way through 18th-century Britain handicapped by her three great problems: being poor, being illegitimate - and being a girl. Evelina was a raging best seller when it was first published in 1778 and is widely credited with being the first of the great British domestic novels. Burney was a direct influence on her immediate follower, Jane Austen.
Hedda Gabler, the daughter of a deceased General, marries dull George Tesman and foresees a life of middle class tedium stretching ahead when they return from their honeymoon. Increasingly, she is drawn into the clutches of her admirer, Judge Brack, who seeks to establish a ménage a trois. Then the brilliant but dissolute Eilert Lovborg, a former flame, arrives to rival her husband for an academic post.
First published in monthly parts between October 1846 and April 1848. Mike Walker's adaptation of Charles Dickens's classic tale of family relationships tells the story of Paul Dombey, head of the House of Dombey, who lacks a son and cannot reconcile himself to his only daughter.
"Do bey and son"
We find ourselves in the austerity of the 1950s, when England's aristocracy was feeling the pinch. Bertie Wooster has gone to a residential self-help school to learn how to darn his socks. Until he re-emerges, Jeeves has signed up with Bill Rowcester (pronounced Roaster), an earl who is failing to make ends meet in trade, and yearning to sell his stately home, which has charm and damp in equal measure. In his new environment Jeeves is required to exert his mammoth brain to what would be breaking point for any normal intellect.
Now, for the first time in audio, Blackstone presents seven great plays in one volume: Euripides' Medea, Shakespeare's The Tempest, Moliere's The Imaginary Invalid, Dumas' Camille, Ibsen's An Enemy of the People, Shaw's Arms and the Man, and Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. These productions illustrate the development of European drama from ancient times to the threshold of the modern theater.
Joss Ackland, Roger Allam, and Leslie Phillips star in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Victor Hugo's classic novel. When poverty drives Jean Valjean to steal a loaf of bread from a baker's window, it is an action that will haunt him for the rest of his life. A citizen of postrevolutionary France, he is sentenced to nineteen years' hard labour.
"Radio doing what it does best"
Six hilarious satires from the ingenious Molière, France's original master of comedies: "The Imaginary Cuckold", "The School for Husbands", "The School for Wives", "Tartuffe" and "The Misanthrope".
Eight of George Bernard Shaw's most memorable plays in one splendid collection: Mrs. Warren's Profession, Arms and the Man, Candida, The Devil's Disciple, Major Barbara, The Doctor's Dilemma, Misalliance, and Pygmalion.