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Summary

Six full-cast BBC Radio productions of Shakespeare's classic tragedies.

Treachery, betrayal and fatal power struggles are among the themes of these six iconic productions of Shakespeare's timeless tragedies. Featuring all-star casts, they are introduced by Sir Richard Eyre.

Hamlet

Shakespeare's powerfully poetic tragedy of murder, madness and revenge stars Michael Sheen as the prince of Denmark, with Kenneth Cranham as Claudius and Juliet Stevenson as Gertrude.

Macbeth

In this notorious 'Scottish play', a lust for power and the prophecy of three witches transform a brave nobleman into a traitor and murderous tyrant. Ken Stott stars as Macbeth and Phyllis Logan as Lady Macbeth.

King Lear

The tragic consequences of evil triumphing over truth and of the vanity of old age, are set in motion when Lear banishes his favourite daughter, Cordelia, from court. Starring Corin Redgrave as King Lear, with David Troughton, Geraldine James and Robert Glenister.

Othello

Evil cunning perverts a once noble mind, as heroic General Othello is destroyed by both his own jealousy and the machinations of the devious Iago. Ray Fearon stars as Othello, with James Frain as Iago.

Romeo and Juliet

An updated version of Shakespeare's tragedy of feuding families and doomed love, set in modern Verona and starring Douglas Henshall as Romeo and Sophie Dahl as Juliet.

Cymbeline

When Cymbeline discovers his daughter Imogen's secret marriage to Posthumus, he banishes her husband. But Posthumus' boasts of his wife's chastity provoke lachimo to attempt her seduction. Bill Wallis stars as Cymbeline.

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

What listeners say about BBC Radio Shakespeare: A Collection of Six Tragedies

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Unwieldy and difficult to use

I had hoped to use this as a tool to teach the plays, but this proves very difficult if each play is not segmented, and the files are only separated by one chapter per play. At the very least they could come bookmarked, or with a PDF of timings for each Scene and Act within each play to make it easier to navigate. Great performances despite this.

14 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not as described - no chapters!

Rating explained 3/5.

"-" 3 as there are on chapters in these tragedies never mind a PDF,

"+" 1 for English accents and not American.

Should there be chapters and/or PDF I may revisit and revise the rating given. Too pricey without chapters broken down therefore misleading. Until then it remains a generous 3.

9 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for raphael turra sprenger
  • raphael turra sprenger
  • 10-11-21

missing important parts

at least in macbeth and hamlet there are important parts that are missing. also, the plays are not divided in acts.

5 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Jennifer Baratta She/Her
  • Jennifer Baratta She/Her
  • 22-02-21

The narrators are outstanding here.

Thank you William Shakespeare and BBC4 Radio for putting together these plays and people. Thank you.

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Libby &
  • Libby &
  • 08-04-22

difficult to listen to

We bought this to introduce our children to Shakespeare but after 3 minutes on Hamlet, we gave up. The background noises and actors heavy breathing made it impossible to understand. For my husband and I, who are familiar with the play we could mostly follow along but our children were frustrated.