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Macbeth

Length: 1 hr and 59 mins
4 out of 5 stars (100 ratings)

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Summary

Infamously known as the cursed Scottish play, Macbeth is perhaps Shakespeare’s darkest tragedy. When General Macbeth is foretold by three witches that he will one day be King of Scotland, Lady Macbeth convinces him to get rid of anyone who could stand in his way - including committing regicide. As Macbeth ascends to the throne through bloody murder, he becomes a tyrant consumed by fear and paranoia.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring: James Marsters as Macbeth; Joanne Whalley as Lady Macbeth; Josh Cooke as Banquo and others; J.D. Cullum as Macduff and Second Murderer; Dan Donohue as Ross; Jeannie Elias as Second Witch and others; Chuma Gault as Lennox and Servant; Jon Matthews as Malcolm; Alan Shearman as Angus and others; André Sogliuzzo as Donalbain, Third Witch and others; Kate Steele as Lady Macduff, First Witch and Apparition; Kris Tabori as Duncan and others.

Directed by Martin Jarvis. Sound effects by Tony Palermo. Recorded at the Invisible Studios, West Hollywood, in May 2011.

Public Domain (P)2011 L.A. Theatre Works

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great for revision !!

I'm reading this as a GCSE student, and it really helped me for the exam 👍🏾

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great

great play. great interpretation. I do recommend it to everyone. do not skip this book.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

a bit too fast-paced

The Shakespearian dialogue is a bit hard to catch at the pace of this recording.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Yanks lack the passion of performance.

Had I known this was an American performance of MacBeth. I wouldn't have purchased it. It just didn't sound great. And the cast lacked the passion needed for the Scottish play. Very disappointed. Stick to English if not Scottish versions.

14 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

argh American accents!!

I'm pretty sure Macbeth wasn't an American. not a great version unfortunately. it is a strange story too though

14 of 24 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Grr.

American voices performing Shakespeare always jar on me and this performance was no exception. Deleted

13 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good rattle through the Scottish Play

There are some who have complained that Shakespeare is not authentic if it is done with American actors. Ironically, the language spoken in Elizabethan times is closer to North American dialogue than it is to the Queen's English today so this should add to rather than take away from the listener experience.

This recording from LA Theatre works stars American actor James Marsters (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as the eponymous Thane of Cawdor and English rose Joanne Whalley (Dance with a Stranger) as her ladyship. The recording has high production standards and atmospheric sound effects throughout. The opening act is a little too fact for my liking, I had to check that I had the playback on the right speed and not 1.25x by mistake but it wasn't, it was just read incredibly quickly. The whole thing settles down from there into a more sensible iambic pentameter rhythm and the main scenes are done well.

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Knock, knock, knock! Who's there?

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. It's pretty good.

What other book might you compare Macbeth to, and why?

Other books by Shakespeare, because he wrote them also.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Mouthwords.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It's a good psychological horror, with allot of atmosphere. It
brings forth feelings of excitement, and provokes thought.

Any additional comments?

Knock,
knock, knock! Who's there? Faith, here's an
English tailor come hither, for stealing out of
a French hose: come in, tailor; here you may
roast your goose.

1 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Syd Young
  • Syd Young
  • 03-02-14

Might want to Read Along

Ok, unless you have the play memorized, this is hard to follow without the characters before you on the stage, but it is still just EXCELLENT. Don't let that difficulty stop you, just listen to this with the play or a guide in front of you, so you always remember who is speaking and where they are.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Monika
  • 28-12-11

Enjoyable all-cast performance

I greatly enjoyed listening to this full-cast performance. There was great chemistry between the lead cast Mr. Marsters and Mrs. Whalley which sparked the story.
The sound effects were appropriate and didn't distract. A few of the male voices sounded similar, so sometimes it took a while to distinguish the different characters (if you are not very familiar with the lines)
All in all a production in the typical LATW quality and a bargain if you look at the price.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Darwin8u
  • Darwin8u
  • 01-11-17

“Confusion now hath made his masterpiece

“Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires.”
― William Shakespeare, Macbeth

I haven't read this since I was in HS. Loved it. Probably my biggest complaint is how slim it is. But, Shakespeare is at the top of his game. Based on an account of the reigns of Duncan and Makbeth in "the Chronicals of Scotland" in Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, it also spins into myth and alludes a bit to Seneca's tragedies. This is an efficient play. It is a sword, a knife, a razor blade; interesting and tight. And Lady Macbeth is just, well, bloody amazing. It is hard sometimes to map EXACTLY where the magic of Shakespeare happens, but with Macbeth it is fairly easy. Shakespeare is the master at weaving very human characteristics (pride, ambition, duplicity, guilt) with a dark, mythic background filled with ghosts and witches. But add to that Shakespeare's poetry (95% of this play is in verse) and grand-scale characters, and he transports this play from great to fantastic. Some of Shakespeare's most memorable lines and moments come from Macbeth. I still think there are several plays that are better (Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, etc), but there is SOMETHING in this play that hooks me hard. Not necessarily always in a good way. But it grabs me like guilt still.

Some of the best lines:

― “Where shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain? When the hurlyburly 's done, when the battle 's lost and won” (Act 1, Scene 1).

― “I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself
And falls on the other.” (Act 1, Scene 7)

― “False face must hide what the false heart doth know.” (Act 1, Scene 7)

― “By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.” (Act 4, Scene 1)

― “Life ... is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.” (Act 5, Scene 5).

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for TS
  • TS
  • 22-12-15

A bit awkward

Varying performance qualities makes this version feel disjointed. sine are quite believable, but others (including the lead) sound very much like they're reading from a script.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Laura
  • 11-01-12

All hail this Macbeth!

I felt sad when each character died including Macbeth and Lady M which is a testament to the actors. Macbeth was courageous to the end; a true warrior who got greedy and caused so much chaos that he had to be stopped. This production tells this story believably. It is acted well, the sound is clear and special effects add to the experience. Upon further listenings, the lesser lines of the play rise up to the surface. This is a recording that deserves to be played more than once.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Brennan Gillis
  • Brennan Gillis
  • 25-11-15

Classic

Just a great audiobook for the audio library. Most actors were excellent. Entertaining listen for the road or sitting at home.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Will Kern
  • Will Kern
  • 10-10-17

Well played

They did a bang up job with this classic play. If it’s your first time hearing Macbeth, it may be difficult to track the characters through their voices.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 24-09-16

The Scottish Tragedy

Played before my very ears with sublime performance is Shakespeare's most talked about play warning of the dangers of overreaching ambition.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-04-16

Very good.

A very nice performance of my favorite Shakespeare. A couple of interesting interpretations in tone that I disagree with, but heck, that's the fun of reading Shakespeare. The performers did a great job and went at it full bore. Enjoyed the witches, Macbeth, and Macduff most of all. He had a small part in this one, but Mr Tabori has to be the greatest reader of all times. Check out his La Horla reading if you can get your hands on it. On to the hurlyburly!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sean Dooley
  • Sean Dooley
  • 17-06-19

a good version not great

outside of a few exceptions, much of this comes off as a warm up table read. it functioned well enough for my road trip.