BBC Radio has a unique heritage when it comes to Shakespeare. Since 1923, when the newly formed company broadcast its first full-length play, generations of actors and producers have honed and perfected the craft of making Shakespeare to be heard.
Those decades of experience come to fruition in this production. The intimacy of radio gives full rein to the power of Shakespeare's language, taking the listener into the very centre of Hamlet's emotional and moral turmoil.
Revitalised, original, and comprehensive, this is Shakespeare for the new millennium.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Best of what's available
Well since Hamlet is arguably one of the greatest stories of all time, i wont base my review on the story.
This is a pretty good recording. It's slightly abridged, which isn't horrible, but can be a little distracting if you're reading along with the full text. A few minor faults in this version include the volume. It's way too low. Forget about listening to it with your standard labtop, so make sure you have earphones or a good set of speakers. On my 5G iPod, i had to take the volume up to 80-90%, but it's workable. Just make sure to take the vol back down before you switch back to your music. Another downer is the absence of act separation. It's divided into two tracks but it's completely random. The first track just ends sometime in the fourth act.
These problems seem to exist in all of BBCs recordings of Shakepeare, but in my opinion still worth the extra $5 for the dramatic performances. They do a really great job of inserting emotion and bringing it closer to the way Shakespeare's plays were meant to be experienced.
Good voices, bad sound quality
Though the actors do a commendable job in this recording--particluarly the voices of Hamlet and Laertes--the sound quality is quite bad. I had to turn my iPod almost to full volume in order to hear the actors, whose voices are mired in the crackle and hiss of tape recorder noise.
Solid performance of 2nd quarto - needs equalizer set to voice for proper audio quality
This is a solid performance of the second quarto edition made by BBC Radio in 1999 with the Open University. Hamlet is a little slow to warm up, but he and most of the cast turn in creditable, if not extraordinary, performances. To be honest, I can think of few reasons for such a complete version, except for study purposes. The usual professional stage performance runs about 2 hours. Nonetheless, if you need a nearly complete script, and do not want it specifically for the roles of Gertrude or Ophelia (who are dreadful), this is terrific value.
It does need the iTunes equalizer set to voice. Then I could hear every word at normal volume.