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King Richard III: Performed by Kenneth Branagh & Cast (Classic Drama) Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 3 pages
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks; Unabridged edition (2 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 962634217X
  • ISBN-13: 978-9626342176
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 14.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's preeminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire and was baptised on 26 April 1564. Thought to have been educated at the local grammar school, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he went on to have three children, at the age of eighteen, before moving to London to work in the theatre. Two erotic poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece were published in 1593 and 1594 and records of his plays begin to appear in 1594 for Richard III and the three parts of Henry VI. Shakespeare's tragic period lasted from around 1600 to 1608, during which period he wrote plays including Hamlet and Othello. The first editions of the sonnets were published in 1609 but evidence suggests that Shakespeare had been writing them for years for a private readership.

Shakespeare spent the last five years of his life in Stratford, by now a wealthy man. He died on 23 April 1616 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. The first collected edition of his works was published in 1623.

(The portrait details: The Chandos portrait, artist and authenticity unconfirmed. NPG1, © National Portrait Gallery, London)

Product Description

Amazon Review

"Now is the winter of our discontent," intones Richard, Duke of Gloucester at the beginning of Shakespeare's Richard III, one of his most abidingly popular plays, and one of the most chilling portrayals of political tyranny ever seen on stage. Richard emerges from the chaos which surrounds the reign of Henry VI, already dramatised by Shakespeare earlier in his career, determined to become king by removing his elder brother Edward IV by convincing him that their brother Clarence is plotting against the crown. The deaths of both Clarence and Edward take Richard inexorably towards the crown, and the series of murders and conspiracies that Richard masterminds confirms his claim that "I am determined to prove a villain". Richard's political and sexual charisma are truly chilling, and his seduction of Lady Anne, over her husband's corpse is one of the most disturbing scenes in Shakespeare. At another level, the play is also a strongly anti-Yorkist play, which has a vested interest in portraying Richard as such as vicious tyrant before seeing him toppled, ushering in a period of rule which prefigured the Tudor dynasty of which Elizabeth I was herself a part. The play has had a deep and lasting influence on audiences and writers; Brecht rewrote the play as The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, while both Laurance Olivier and Ian Mckellen have produced memorable film versions of Richard III, the latter updating the play into a 1930s fascist state ruled over by a Richard akin to Oswald Mosley. --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

John Dover Wilson's New Shakespeare, published between 1921 and 1966, became the classic Cambridge edition of Shakespeare's plays and poems until the 1980s. The series, long since out-of-print, is now reissued. Each work contains a lengthy and lively introduction, main text, and substantial notes and glossary. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Nov. 2001
Format: Audio CD
This audio book is a fantastic work of art. The play is well spoken and very well acted.When listening to it one feels as if sitting in a theatre. The play comes alive in front of your inner eye, you forget where you are and what you do. You'll be thrilled!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Claudia on 13 Oct. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I never read the play but always wanted to, this audio CD helped me to understand it, plus it was an absolute treat to listen to it; well acted I highly recommend this CD.
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By anglosax on 4 April 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
(This is a review of the 3 CD set which cost me £12.78. Some sets on here seem far more expensive),
I like Shakespeare, but it was actually seeing Richard III's cortege in my home city recently that prompted me to get this.
Very good performance, Kenneth Brannigan plays a totally convincing Richard III and the entire cast is fine.

Excellent clear sound and the music (mostly from Janacek's "Taras Bulba") works very well with it. I only wish that I hadn't initially wasted money on the iPod version because the CD sound quality is so much better. Through headphones using a personal CD player the sound is superior to that delivered by my iPad using the same audiophile headphones. (It was because I wasn't happy with the download that I then bought the CD). Through my hi-fi speakers the CD sound is superb. Also, I'm one of those old-fashioned types who generally prefer a shiny disc to a download. Good documentation too.
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By Terry Byrne on 29 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This edition of Richard III (with notes by Richard Adams) is probably the finest around. Despite being edited 30 years it has all the hallmarks of meticulous scholarship. Adams evidently has a background in History. He brings this elegantly to the fore throughout the play, enhancing our understanding not only of the text but of the Historical Background. A brand new edition of this needs to be published. Much thanks, Mr Adams, it was a labour of love reading your every sentence!
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