Synopses & Reviews
The British Library and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) join forces to publish this remarkable audio treasury of live Shakespearian performances. Selected from an extensive collection of recordings made by the British Library Sound Archive, these two double CD sets offer scenes and speeches from some of the most celebrated Shakespeare productions in the history of the Royal Shakespeare Company. The extracts cover almost half a century of productions, from Laurence Olivier as Coriolanus in 1959 to Ian McKellen as King Lear in 2007. Both Essential Shakespeare Live and Essential Shakespeare Encore! also include booklets that reproduce the play-text of each recorded extract in full along with introductions by Gregory Doran, Chief Association Director of the RSC.
On Essential Shakespeare Encore! the roll-call of prestigious portrayals runs from Paul Robesons legendary Othello in 1959 to David Tennants highly-acclaimed Hamlet in 2008. Among the other memorable productions are Peter Halls Henry IV Part 1, Trevor Nunns The Winters Tale, John Bartons The Merchant of Venice, Adrian Nobles Macbeth, Sam Mendess Troilus and Cressida, and the recent Histories cycle of Michael Boyd. Notable actors include Ian Holm, David Suchet, Juliet Stevenson, Ian Richardson, Jonathan Pryce, Simon Russell Beale, Harriet Walter, Patrick Stewart, and Ian McKellen.
"It was a superb idea first time round and continues to be so. . . . There are so many good things here."
"What a treasure trove these discs prove for lovers of Shakespare and great acting. In the new volume you can hear Paul Robeson's magically voiced Othello, still sounding wonderfully fresh and sonorous 50 years on, and time travel through the decades right up to David Tennant's Hamlet last year, with its magical mixture of sharp intelligence, humour, and depth of feeling. . . I cannot recommend them too highly to anyone who loves Shakespeare."
"It's fascinating to listen to. You can hear the changes, across the decades, in how actors read their lines (more freely these days), and in how the audience reacts (more vocal now). You also get a sense of the glorious plasticity of Shakespeare's material, how much it can change in different hands."--Sam Leith, Guardian
Time Out Chicago Theater Holiday Gift Guide 2010 Recommendation
Following the success of "The Essential Shakespeare," the British Library and the Royal Shakespeare Company are proud to present a second audio set of live Shakespeare recordings, Essential Shakespeare Encore. The two discs feature scenes and speeches taken from RSC productions in Stratford-upon-Avon and London, recorded by the British Library and the RSC over a period of almost half a century. As in the first volume, all the recordings are being published for the first time. The extracts, chosen by RSC Chief Associate Director Gregory Doran, are taken from productions that were not included previously, so as to complement the first volume. The roll-call of prestigious portrayals runs from Paul Robeson's legendary Othello in 1959 to David Tennant's highly-acclaimed Hamlet in 2008. Among the other memorable productions are Peter Hall's "Henry IV," Trevor Nunn's "The Winter's Tale," John Barton's "The Merchant of Venice," Adrian Noble's "Macbeth," Sam Mendes' "Troilus and Cressida," and the recent "Histories Cycle" of Michael Boyd. Notable actors include Ian Holm, David Suchet, Juliet Stevenson, Ian Richardson, Jonathan Pryce, Ralph Fiennes, Simon Russell Beale, Harriet Walter, Patrick Stewart, and Ian McKellen.
Table of Contents
2 Discs - 147 minutes
Love's Labour's Lost
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Much Ado about Nothing
The Taming of the Shrew
The Winter's Tale
Timon of Athens