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A Midsummer Night's Dream
Cover of A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Fully Dramatized Audio Edition
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FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY The World's Leading Center for Shakespeare StudiesThe Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection, brings A Midsummer Night's Dream to life...
FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY The World's Leading Center for Shakespeare StudiesThe Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection, brings A Midsummer Night's Dream to life...
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  • FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY
    The World's Leading Center for Shakespeare Studies

    The Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection, brings A Midsummer Night's Dream to life with this new full-length, full-cast dramatic recording of its definitive Folger Edition.
    In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare stages the workings of love in unexpected ways. In the woods outside Athens, two young men and two young women sort themselves into couples—but not before they form first one love triangle, and then another. The king and queen of fairyland, Oberon and Titania, battle over custody of an orphan boy. Oberon uses magic to make Titania fall in love with a weaver named Bottom, in an effort to distract Titania from the custody battle. While all of this is going on, Bottom and his companions ineptly stage the tragedy of "Pyramus and Thisbe."
    This new full-cast recording—based on the most respected edition of Shakespeare's classic—expertly produced by the Folger Theatre, is perfect for students, teachers, and the everyday listener.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 2, 1996
    Coville follows up his version of The Tempest (see p. 84) with a retelling of another of Shakespeare's most popular plays. The fundamental story of magic, mischief and the trials and tribulations of love is preserved through well-chosen use of the original language and Coville's heady prose ("The queen... saw the ass-headed monstrosity through magic-drenched eyes"). Major plot lines are clearly and concisely rendered, but it is the portrayal of the various levels of humor-from Bottom's buffoonery to Puck's gleeful magic-making-that really captures the essence of the play. Nolan's (Dinosaur Dream) sumptuous, painterly watercolors highlight the theatrical setting of the spellbound wood. Gnarled, mossy trees provide the backdrop for a cast of unusually youthful lovers, gossamer-winged fairies (which nod at Rackham's famous interpretations) and a truly puckish Puck. A first-rate entree to the Bard. Ages 7-up.

  • AudioFile Magazine A narrator helps compress the action of Shakespeare's charming comedy into less than an hour, telling us what's occurring and then letting the characters give us their better-known scenes. The program, "from the archives of CBC Radio," has a copyright of 2003, but judging by the acting (Hermia reminds one more of Virginia Mayo than Judi Dench) and music (composed for this program, and quite enjoyable), it was recorded in the early '50s at the latest. Still, the acting runs from adequate to excellent, and the narration is polished; the whole will make a pleasant, if abbreviated, version of the play for those who find its age quaint rather than off-putting. W.M. (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Magazine A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM is a difficult play to follow in audio only. Many of the scenes, especially those involving Bottom and his motley troupe of actors, rely heavily on their visual elements. This Arkangel production does include some interesting voices, however. Most notably, Oberon and Titania are played by black actors David Harewood and Adjoa Andoh, whose accents--Jamaican and West African, respectively--give a refreshing texture to the fairy scenes. It's too bad some of those same scenes are undone by lame echo effects that are not only cloying, but at times make the lines difficult to hear. D.B. (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Magazine There are few puckish pleasures greater than listening to one of the Bard's great performances. Paul Scofield is easy to listen to in his portrayal of the fairy prince Oberon, his being one of the greatest living classical voices in English. Yet his performance is missing the inspiration one would expect. Likewise, none of the other performers on this unabridged recording are particularly inspired. Pedestrian readings and background noise make this a serviceable but disappointing trip into Shakespeare's romantic dreamscape. S.E.S. (c) AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Magazine This newest version of Shakespeare's midsummer romp is a most wonderful addition. Uncut and fully dramatized, it transports us deftly from the wedding of Duke Theseus and Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, into the bewildering confusions of the night forest, where magic and mischief abound. The forest where Hermia and Lysander, Helena and Demetrius finally are betrothed bewitches us with its array of night sounds, and the fairy world is easily identified by the soft electronic echo in the voices of Oberon, Titania and Puck. But what really distinguishes Arkangel's production is the masterful performances of the whole cast. Maybe we have, as Puck would have us believe, "but slumb'red here/while these visions did appear." P.E.F. Winner of AUDIOFILE Earphones Award (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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    Simon & Schuster Audio
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