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.
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!"
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.
There is now no doubt that not only is Waiting for Godot the outstanding play of the 20th century, but it is also Samuel Beckett's masterpiece. Yet it is both a popular text to be studied at school and an enigma. The scene is a country road. There is a solitary tree. It is evening. Two tramp-like figures, Vladimir and Estragon, exchange words. Pull off boots. Munch a root vegetable. Two other curious characters enter. And a boy. Time passes. It is all strange yet familiar.
"Stay go leave stay...it's all the same"
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.
"A great intoduction"
Beware the gossips! Lady Sneerwell and her hireling, Snake, are certainly up to no good in this timeless send-up of hypocritical manners. Thanks to their scandal-mongering, the comely Lady Teazle must fend off the slanderous barbs that have caught the ear of her elderly husband - as well as every other gossip in London! What follows is a torrent of mistaken identities and sex-crazed scheming in which the upper classes have never looked so low class.
A new recording of Henrik Ibsen's masterpiece, starring Calista Flockhart. Nora Helmer has everything a young housewife could want: beautiful children, an adoring husband, and a bright future. But when a carelessly buried secret rises from the past, Nora's well-calibrated domestic ideal starts to crumble. Ibsen's play is as fresh today as it was when it first stormed the stages of 19th-century Europe.
"Superfical wife, superficial controlling husband"
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".
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"
In the hands of Sophocles, the master dramatist, the anguished tale of a man fated to kill his father and marry his mother retains its power to shock and move beyond any Freudian reference.
Anton Chekhov's The Seagull is considered one of his most haunting and atmospheric character studies. A would-be playwright is at war with his egoistic mother while the town has become intoxicated by a sensational author. And as the alluring newcomer steals away Kosta's only love, their new romance could have devastating consequences. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance.
Orley Farm, described as a "[B]rilliantly choreographed legal thriller" (Mail on Sunday), centres on the pathos of the main character, Lady Mason. Youthful marriage choices, middle-aged marital crisis, love and loss revolve around the legal action and the complex portrayal of Lady Mason, who is both sympathetic and wily.
This course will examine the social, historical, and political context of ancient Greek drama and equip listeners with a set of critical analytical tools for developing their own appreciation of this vitally important genre. The course will focus on the four extant playwrights, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, and examine each of their plays closely.
An abridged version of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck. Anna (Bergman) is a wife and mother who has an affair with the handsome Count Vronsky (Peck).
Drunk on rum at a country fair, Henchard sells his wife to a sailor for five guineas. Unable to find them and overcome with guilt and remorse he vows to be teetotal for 21 years. Many years later his wife seeks him out in Casterbridge, where he has gained both wealth and the well respected position of mayor.
"The Mayor of Casterbridge."
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.
Jane Austen's classic romantic comedy is the sparkling tale of the Bennets, a family blessed with five daughters and a mother desperate to marry them off. The tempestuous pairing of the witty, independent Elizabeth and her arrogant but honorable suitor Mr. Darcy sets the standard for all great couples of stage and screen. Although many have tried, few literary romances have matched the wit and gentile satire of Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
Samantha Spiro, David Troughton, and Amanda Root are among the cast of this new BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Jane Austen's famous novel. Mrs Bennet is determined to see her five daughters married off and secure a future for them all. When the wealthy Mr Bingley arrives in the neighbourhood, Mrs Bennet wastes no time in making his acquaintance. His friend Mr Darcy, however, discourages Mr Bingley from marrying Jane Bennet, and also appears to snub her sister Elizabeth.
Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais. Dramatised by Lavinia Murray. Episode 1: Gargantua. The bawdy, exuburant adventures of medieval giants. A dizzying blend of fantasy, comedy, philosophy and scatological humour. The world's a messy place. The first episode depicts the young life of the giant Gargantua, who is reduced to laughable insanity by an education at the hands of paternal ignorance, old crones and syphilitic professors. Episode 2: - Pantagruel. Concluding the bawdy and scatological adventures of Medieval giants.
When novelist Charles Condomine invites a medium into his house in order to learn about the occult for his new book, the last thing he or his second wife dream is that the seance will bring back his first wife, Elvira, who wants Charles all to herself!
Blackstone Audio is proud to present the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2014 production of The Tempest, Shakespeare's magical romantic comedy, directed by Tony Taccone. This stunning work of audio theater, fully dramatized with performances by the OSF cast, is a must-listen.
In Richard III, Shakespeare invites us on a moral holiday. The play draws us to identify with Richard and his fantasy of total control of self and domination of others. Not yet king at the start of the play, Richard presents himself as an enterprising villain as he successfully plans to dispose of his brother, Clarence. Richard achieves similar success in conquering the woman he chooses to marry. He carves a way to the throne through assassination and executions.
The Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection, brings Julius Caesar to life with this new full-length, full-cast dramatic recording of its definitive Folger Edition.