Felicity Jones, David Tennant, and Benedict Cumberbatch star in BBC Radio 4's full-cast dramatisation of the novel by Jane Austen, one of the great English classics.
Seeking a position in society, young Fanny Price goes to live with her rich aunt and uncle. But her life there is not as she might wish.
Felicity Jones plays Fanny, whilst David Tennant is her cousin Tom and Benedict Cumberbatch his brother Edmund.
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Too much narrative for a radio drama, needed more skill in the script. Hardly heard the characters, which meant I felt little for their wellbeing. That said it was easy to follow and the actors did a good job. Go for a different version though, or simply listen to the novel in full- which is wonderful.
It's a great story, great cast, how could they go wrong with this production? By using awkward chapter formatting and short narration summaries to join the chapters. I suppose that's one way of shortening the story but it was a shame overall.
If you have read the book previously then you will enjoy this as an additional entertainment but do not listen to this and assume you have read the book as much of Austen's original brilliance is missing!
"How On Earth?"
can you fit "Mansfield Park" into 2 hours and 18 minutes? This lovely dramatized production answers the question thusly:
1) Get some wonderful A-list British actors;
2) Find a writer or writers who can severely cut Miss Austen to the bone without sacrificing all the dialogue, the essence of the characters, or the dated charm of Jane Austen and Fanny Price;
3) Don't worry if you seriously tick off the purist Janeites out there!
That's what the BBC has done, and here it is done supremely well. Cumberbatch, Tennant, and Jones are three of today's most popular artists - it's a wonder how they were assembled for such a project - and the rest of the cast equals their talent and energy.
I'm not usually a fan of abridged classics, but this is valuable whether or not you are familiar with Jane Austen's perhaps least-favorite novel. Reading "Mansfield Park" can be something of a chore - this listen is a breeze!
(The BBC dramatization may well encourage some to seek out the full version. I'd recommend going with Juliet Stevenson's narration of the unabridged "Mansfield Park" - it's available at Audible.)
"Makes This Book Bearable"
Yes, it was extremely well done and all the actors were a pleasure to listen to. At a bit over two hours, it is something that can be easily listened to multiple times.
Definitely. I already had one friend on Facebook that was very excited to listen to it. As I said, it's well done.
Benedict Cumberbatch and David Tennant shine as Edmund and Tom.
I did listen to it mostly in one sitting. I put on a few Disney movies for my preschoolers and I listened happily to the book on my headphones.
I would totally use this with high school students. It gives you a total sense of the story without overbearing them with a very long book. I think I may go back and read the full book now and thanks to this I already understand the plot.
The narration and roles are read perfectly by each actor. I enjoy audible books and hearing multiple talented readers was a treat. In this reading the main character, Fanny, is sympathetic, and that is how I read her character as well. I only wanted more of Fanny and Edmund than Jane Austin chose to give us.
I wasn't sure about a dramatization at first but this was rather well done. I know it's somewhat short but it was amusing and engaging. Bravo.
Way too short -- yes, a dramatization, but much abridged--just when it was getting good--boom!--over. I was disappointed.
"Confusing at times"
I enjoyed the book and finished it quickly, but found the recording a bit confusing at times. The voices of the actors were quite similar and the narration didn't acknowledge which character was speaking every time which made it difficult to follow what was happening at times. The story itself was interesting and entertaining, but I found the ending a bit abrupt and the character development lacking at times. Despite these criticisms I found it an enjoyable experience overall!
"All in the performance"
The actors certainly make an ordinary story interesting and lightly entertaining. And the direction was very well done.
"Radio Adaptation with Engaging Cast"
I have, in fact, listened to this twice. It's a very skilled adaptation of one of my favorite Austen books. And the performances are wonderful.
You can't help but love Fanny Price and admire her strength, humor, and resilience.
The cast was universally strong and wonderfully captured the idiosyncrasies of the individual characters.
When Fanny gets sent back to her family and she had to adjust to live away from Mansfield Park.
Of course, the BBC never fails when it comes to sound editing. The quality is as picturesque and nuanced as can be. Acting is superb. Plot is interesting and works well as metaphor for messages about social class, honor, love and morality. I only wish it had lasted longer. Of all dramatizations of Mansfield Park, this may be the best.
The script was simplified for time, so some of Jane Austen's brilliant words are not here, but this cast is a dream! Not only with Cumberbatch, Jones, and Tennant, but Amanda Root is the narrator and James Callis (Gaius Baltar of Battlestar Galactica) is a fabulously naughty Henry Crawford! Sound effects and supporting cast are all wonderful. You'll love this!
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