These five plays, with differing casts and directors, are a mixed bag, but, overall, the solidly professional acting makes these versions listenable, likable, and at times moving. The acting does vary, from Ray Fearon's excellent Othello to Sophie Dahl's wooden Juliet, who seems to recite by rote. Some production choices are problematic. Sound effects supposedly making OTHELLO and ROMEO AND JULIET "modern" are distracting, unsuccessful, even puzzling. Echoes in HAMLET and occasionally overdone Scots accents in MACBETH make speeches hard to understand. Since we have audio only, it is sometimes difficult to know which speeches are asides, especially in CYMBELINE, or even to know who is speaking, as in LEAR. Still, for pure audio, this is a commendable set of recordings. W.M. © AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine [Published: JANUARY 2021]
Digital Download BBC Audio 2020
DD ISBN $34.99
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