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Summary

A sparkling collection of the major works of the ever-adored Oscar Wilde, with incredible casts including Judi Dench, Martin Clunes, Michael Sheen, Miriam Margolyes, Ian McDiarmid, Joely Richardson, Penelope Keith, Martin Jarvis, Diana Rigg, Simon Russell Beale, Sheila Hancock, Ian McKellen and Stephen Fry.

This collection includes:

The Picture of Dorian Gray: a dramatisation of Wilde’s sole novel, about the unsettling youth of Dorian Gray and the ravaged picture in his attic. Starring Jamie Glover, Ian McDiarmid, Steven Pacey.

Lady Windermere’s Fan: a comic play about a woman who suspects her husband is having an affair. Starring Joely Richardson and Penelope Keith.

A Woman of No Importance: a devastating drawing room comedy about the rakish Lord Illingworth, notorious for his skill as a seducer while his female conquests must hide their shame in seclusion. Starring Martin Jarvis, Diana Rigg and Annette Crosby.

The Importance of Being Earnest: a dazzling comedy about mistaken identities and secret engagements. Starring Judi Dench, Martin Clunes, Michael Sheen and Miriam Margolyes.

An Ideal Husband: a play about the plight of a politician desperate to hide a secret about his past. Starring Noel Johnson, Ronald Lewis and Jane Wenham. 

Plus bonus programmes featuring Wilde’s letters and poetry: 

De Profundis: Simon Russell Beale reads correspondence from Oscar Wilde to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, while in Reading Gaol in 1897.

The Ballad of Reading Gaol: a live benefit performance of Oscar Wilde's celebrated poem, read by Ian McKellen, Neil Tennant, Stephen Fry, Bette Bourne, Tom Wakefield and Malcolm Sinclair.

In Extremis by Neil Bartlett: a play that reimagines Wilde’s hastily arranged sitting with a society palm reader, a week before the trial that was to cost him so much. Starring Corin Redgrave and Sheila Hancock.

©2019 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2019 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What listeners say about The Oscar Wilde BBC Radio Drama Collection

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Disappointed with selection from Oscar Wilde

There were 2 collections to pick from and I chose the book comprising of excepts The Importance of being Earnest , Lady Windamere's Fan,and a woman of no importance are represented by excerpts sometimes as short as 2 minutes. I know you're trying to whet our appetites but whoever would knowingly go for such a box of fragments and it is small comfort to be able to point to De Profundis as if that alone invalidated my case. Please make it clear how brief some of the excerpts are. I should have gone for the BBC Drama Workshop selection.

10 people found this helpful

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Brilliant!

I really enjoyed this audiobook. I’ve only ever seen The Importance of Being Earnest and An Ideal Husband before, which I loved, But all of these plays were fantastic. Wonderful actors giving wonderful performances. I especially liked the extra performances; De Profundis was truly heartbreaking.

8 people found this helpful

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I can’t believe this doesn’t have more reviews

As a big fan of radio adaptations, I was very pleased to find this Oscar Wilde collection as not only does it include some of his most notable work but also as I struggle to read plays, it helps dramatise them for me. The cast is exceptional with brilliant, engaging performances from lots of classically trainer actors with experience in stage performance. The thing I really enjoy about radio adaptations the most is the addition of background noises like walking, drinking, rain etc, for me this makes a huge improvement to the quality of the performance and is a big difference between that and a standard audiobook. They even include music which I thought was a lovely touch. Overall, an excellent way to get to grips with the work of one of Britain’s best playwrights

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Beautiful collection

Beautiful dramatisations! I appreciate the letters, I never knew prose could sound so poetic! You can tell how much he suffered.

1 person found this helpful

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A perfect introduction into Wilde's work and life

The title says it all.
The only thing missing is a real title for the chapters (not just the numbers).

1 person found this helpful

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Enjoyable

I really enjoyed the story telling. I don’t often listen to radio plays so I wasn’t sure what to expect and it was a bit overdone at times, which you could only get away with, with Wilde’s works. I didn’t feel like an audiobook but it was very engaging,

3 people found this helpful

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Insightful , witty and a window to late 1800s

Enjoyed the insights of life, the wit, and looking into snapshots of late 19th century life and relationships.
At time true no fault of the audio book the wit was at times repetitive and predictable but also surprising and moving. Especially the twists and turns of tale.

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Excellent Performances

excellent cast, I listened to this twice and will do so again. BBC radio at its best

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Absolutely wonderful

Beautiful and moving. Made me hear his work in a new way. Acting all superb. The reading and new play at the end concluded it all perfectly. Really one of the best BBC Collections.

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Beautiful, Uplifting, and Haunting

What a wonderful addition to listen to Oscar Wilde’s uplifting and delightful social comedies and at the same time experienced the really contemporary critique of society - These works fit in the 21st-century as much as they did in the 19th. Haunting letters following his incarceration and of course incredible Ballad of Reading Gaol - Overall a rollercoaster of intellectual delight and profound sadness - A wonderfully extraordinary at times innocently narcissistic soul but ultimately an elegant generous full-spirited genius of a man; who was brutally brought down for being a flamboyant homosexual - hunted by a mean-spirited and nasty small-minded clique of elitist thugs. This collection will resonate for a very long time

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  • C. M. Otto
  • 25-04-19

A great book and a great cast

Wish it didn’t end.
Great book great stories. Easy to see why movies were made from them and why they are classics.
There is a new way to experience these stories thanks to BBC Radio (seriously does anyone make a listen come alive like the British?)
Listening allows a person to imagine the characters and scenes. I believe we have great imaginations and can spin a scene to fit our personal perspectives and not be bound to a movie directors vision.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Blake Firner
  • 28-11-19

Better every time!

I knew I loved Wild, but I always seem to forget how much till I re-experience it! The voice actors were perfect!

7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jesse Steffens
  • 07-12-20

can't hear half of it

if you're going to make an audible book... .and it audible. some people are close to the mic and others you can't hear at all.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Lindsay
  • 20-02-20

Performances were amazing!

Perfectly acted. Wonderfully put together. The only negatives I can give are I wish the chapers were labeled to the plays performed and the last work not by Oscar Wilde was seriously lacking comparatively and felt like a slightly weak note to end the collection on.

3 people found this helpful

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  • keyisfake
  • 05-10-19

Oscar

Wonderful read. Wished he died a happy man. He deserves much more than what he go. The world missed out on an amazing writer.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Eric Feigenbaum
  • 24-02-21

No chapter titles?

Downloaded, barely started. I’m sure the content is great, but how can you have an audio book composed of multiple plays, with no functional way to navigate between them? I literally don’t even know which one I’m listening to right now. It just started, and the lack of chapter titles makes it impossible to choose a specific play. Guys, this is such a simple thing to fix, and its failing is a major detriment to what I’m guessing are some perfectly wonderful productions of terrific material. Any chance you might update?

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-07-20

Oscar Wilde BBC radio dramatization

I really was expecting this to be better than it was. It was enjoyable. A little disappointing. I guess I expected too much from the cast.
If you love Oscar Wilde You should enjoy this.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Wendy Agnes
  • 23-07-20

Brilliant and delightful

The plays of Oscar Wilde are filled with sharp irony. Clever word games that turn ordinary expressions around, providing a mirror to the "Edwardians" (at that time and their contemporary equivalents). I loved them!

De profundis is technically a letter but actually is a mini biography. It is a beautifully composed reflection, introspect analysis of Oscar's situation and his relationship with Bosie.

The letters are interesting and I find it easier to listening to them instead of reading them.

If you like good hear plays or love Oscar Wild's stories, a must have.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-04-19

Disappointingly bland

L. A. Theatres' production of Wilde's plays is so much better. Many of the performers in this version are merely reading aloud, with little to no expression. They have managed to make Wilde's comedies... entirely unfunny. Very disappointing.

11 people found this helpful

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  • ninewest57th
  • 10-04-19

Stories are great. Performance not so great.

This BBC versions of Oscar Wilde's plays are not as well done as the LA Theater Works productions.

Unfortunately, the LA Theater Works versions are also not available on Audible. In order to experience those productions, one has to go to the LA Theater Works website.

6 people found this helpful