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".
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.
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"
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.
Frederick Jaeger stars in a BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of the legend that has haunted the imagination of millions for over a hundred years! Summoned to the forbidden heart of the Carpathian mountains, in the depths of Transylvania, Jonathan Harker journeys to Castle Dracula. There he becomes the unwitting prisoner of the mysterious nobleman whom local legend insists is nosferatu, the vampire...
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.
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"
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.
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.
This BBC Radio production stars much-loved actor and comedian Lenny Henry, who won the Evening Standard's Best Newcomer Award for his stunning performance as the tortured Moor. First performed at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, it subsequently toured the country before arriving in London's West End where Henry received rave reviews.
"I'm no longer scared of Shakespeare!"
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. An all-star cast featuring Sir Ian McKellen, Corin Redgrave, and Margaretta Scott perform Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.
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.
Telling his followers he is leaving the city on affairs of state, the Duke of Vienna appoints the puritanical Angelo to govern in his absence. Will Angelo prove as virtuous as he seems once power is in his hands? Roaming the city disguised as a friar, the duke looks on as Angelo's lust for the virtuous Isabella sweeps him into the corruption he has so sternly condemned in others. The duke's manipulation at last produces a happy ending for this dark comedy, with its brilliant exploration of the themes of justice and mercy.
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!
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!"
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.
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.
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.
A ruthlessly ambitious Scottish lord siezes the throne with the help of his scheming wife - and a trio of witches. Anthony Quayle, Robert Hardy, Ian Holm, Stanley Holloway, and Jill Balcon star in an unabridged performance of Shakespeare's Macbeth.
Imogen, the daughter of King Cymbeline, is persecuted by her wicked stepmother, the Queen, and by Cloten, the Queen's doltish son. Disguised as a boy, she sets out to find her husband, the banished Posthumus. On her journey, she unwittingly meets her two brothers, stolen from the court as infants. Posthumus, meanwhile, has been convinced by the villainous Iachimo that Imogen is unchaste and agrees to a test of her faithfulness.