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Summary

Eight full-cast BBC Radio productions of Shakespeare's best loved comedies.

Full of merriment, mayhem, mischief and mistaken identity, here are eight iconic radio productions of Shakespeare's most magical comedies, featuring star casts and introduced by Sir Richard Eyre.

Much Ado About Nothing

Shakespeare's delightful comedy sparkles with the verbal sparring of our two reluctant lovers in a world where nothing is quite what it seems. David Tennant and Samantha Spiro star as Benedick and Beatrice.

As You Like It

The Forest of Arden resonates with declarations of love in this joyous pastoral comedy, starring Helena Bonham Carter as Rosalind, David Morrissey as Orlando and Natasha Little as Celia.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

In this delightful comic fantasy, four young lovers and a troupe of actors have a bewitching encounter with Fairyland. Starring David Threlfall as Theseus/Oberon, Sylvestra Le Touzel as Titania/Hippolyta and Amanda Root as Hermia.

The Merchant of Venice 

Shakespeare's thrilling courtroom drama explores the eternal themes of love and hate, mercy and justice. Starring Warren Mitchell as Shylock, with Martin Jarvis as Antonio, Juliet Aubrey as Portia and Samuel West as Bassanio.

Twelfth Night

On the night when all the world is turned on its head, girls become boys and women lust after women in this most optimistic of Shakespeare's comedies. Michael Maloney stars as Orsino and Anne-Marie Duff as Viola. 

The Tempest

A ship at sea and an enchanted island are the settings for this allegorical tale of betrayal, sorcery, revenge and reconciliation. Starring Philip Madoc as Prospero and Nina Wadia as Ariel.

The Taming of the Shrew

Farce, disguise, elaborate role-playing and acerbic exchanges of wit combine to make up an extraordinary love story that still sparks controversy 400 years after it was written. Gerard McSorley stars as Petruchio and Ruth Mitchell as Katherina.

All's Well That Ends Well

This intriguing play tells of the questionable course of action a young woman takes to win the hand of the man she loves. Emma Fielding stars as Helena, with Siân Phillips, Miriam Margolyes, Richard Griffiths and Simon Russell Beale.     

©2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

What listeners say about BBC Radio Shakespeare: A Collection of Eight Comedies

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Profile Image for Jennifer Baratta She/Her
  • Jennifer Baratta She/Her
  • 09-02-21

The narrators are outstanding here

William Shakespeare is an amazing author I throughly enjoyed the collection of comedies. Pendant audio also features these stories.

4 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Gabsalot
  • Gabsalot
  • 11-12-21

Not told entirely

I hate this interpretation of Shakespeare's plays because it is incomplete. For example the Merchant of Venice is missing an entire scene Act 3 scene 5 is entirely gone. Some words are exchanged for others and or entire lines by nominal characters were cut off. I hate this interpretation. DO NOT BUY THIS TITLE.

3 people found this helpful

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  • jcox100
  • 14-09-21

Excellent!

Great job BBC, I will listen again and again. the actors are amazing, the background sounds and music dont take away from the performance. I truly enjoy these productions.

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Bruce
  • Bruce
  • 07-04-22

Ouch

The performance Jumped ahead 400 years musically and I bailed on the first night of twelve. Will search for more authentic renditions. Then maybe I’ll come back to ragtime shakes.