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Understand, enjoy and appreciate Shakespeare like never before!

‘Political, historical, biographical.
Excellent, keep it up please.’
The Guardian

More than 400 years ago William Shakespeare wowed audiences from all walks of life with his heartbreaking tragedies, groundbreaking histories and side-splitting comedies. In presenting a handful of his most influential and innovative works as guided full-cast dramas Shakespeare Appreciated reveals how he did it and why he remains the greatest writer in the English language to this day.

While our stunning audio dramas bring Shakespeare’s plays to life our guided narration not only explains and explores the action as it unfolds – breaking down
ye olde language barriers and clarifying cultural references – but examines the worlds in which the plays are set and written.

In selecting works across the genres and throughout his career, we see Shakespeare develop as a writer – growing, learning and experimenting; stretching and shattering conventions – in an era when early theatre was changing, giving way to something new, something more sophisticated and cosmopolitan.

Unlike many of his peers, Shakespeare thought like an actor, a director and a writer. In proudly presenting his extraordinary work alongside expert commentary and analysis, Shakespeare Appreciated aims to entertain and enlighten anyone with an interest in the Bard; which is why we’ve included the unabridged play twice, giving you the choice to listen with or without narration.

All titles are available as Audible downloads. Audio CD sets and MP3 CD-Rom are available to customers in the UK.

Hamlet (unabridged)
by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s innovation, ingenuity and insight into the human condition have set him apart from other writers for centuries, and Hamlet is undoubtedly his greatest masterpiece. Powerful drama presents the moral and psychological dilemma our hero faces, as the intellectual prince Hamlet is at war with himself. Insightful commentary reveals the poignancy of the play’s father/son relationship as, at the time of writing, Shakespeare was mourning the loss of his own son, Hamnet, and feared that his aged father was not long for this world.

10 CDs £29.99 11 hours 28 minutes

MP3 CD-Rom £24.99 11 hours 28 minutes

Henry V (unabridged)
by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s greatest history play is alive today because the subject of war is as relevant in the modern world as it was during the time of King Henry V. With religious and political intrigue and plotting, Henry V is possibly the greatest artistic comment ever created about war. With a powerful full-cast unabridged production, our commentary offers historical and social perspective, while looking at the morals and ethics of war.

8 CDs £29.99 9 hours 25 minutes

MP3 CD-Rom £24.99 9 hours 25 minutes

Julius Caesar (unabridged)
by William Shakespeare

As co-owner of the Globe, Shakespeare had risen from the ranks of writer and jobbing actor to Shakespeare had risen from the ranks of writer and jobbing actor to impresario. London’s newest theatre needed a brand new play and the tragedy of Julius Caesar delivered just what audiences relished – spectacular action and stunning drama. Shakespeare doesn’t simply retell the story of a great ruler’s assassination, but intimately examines the events leading up to the act and its impact and repercussions on Roman society. Appreciate this revolutionary piece of writing about the power of the state and what it will do to protect itself. Judge for yourself whether Caesar’s assassins are freedom fighters or terrorists?

7 CDs £29.99 7 hours

MP3 CD-Rom £24.99 7 hours

King Lear (unabridged)
by William Shakespeare

Too dark, too cruel, too violent. Experience Shakespeare’s original King Lear, powerfully performed with insightful commentary, and judge for yourself whether his almost apocalyptic vision should have been kept off the stage for more than 300 years. As an aged leader underestimates the impact of retiring, dividing his kingdom, and passing the reins of power to the next generation, Shakespeare shows us a world on the brink. As wisdom and age are replaced by ambition and youth, we see the former king in free-fall, dropping through the social order, estranged from his family, fighting to retain his identity and sanity.

9 CDs £29.99 9 hours 40 minutes

MP3 CD-Rom £24.99 9 hours 40 minutes

Macbeth (unabridged)
by William Shakespeare

How did Guy Fawkes and his attempt to blow up parliament lead to the writing of Macbeth? How did the King’s trials and executions of witches influence the writing of Macbeth? Could this masterpiece have been written in only 10 days? Our guided production of Macbeth brings Shakespeare’s bizarre tragedy of supernatural omens, murders and ghosts alive through powerful performance and insightful commentary that answers all your questions, and more.

6 CDs £29.99 7 hours

MP3 CD-Rom £24.99 7 hours

Othello (unabridged)
by William Shakespeare

Racism, sexism, ageism, murder, and the greatest villain of world literature. The tension of Othello will leave you speechless, while the true story of the Moors’ experience of early 17th century London may make you see England and Shakespeare in a new light. Arguably the greatest of Shakespeare’s tragedies, Othello is a nail-biting tour-de-force that has shocked audiences for 400 years. Proof positive that Shakespeare’s writing is still relevant, as modern audiences draw parallels with the Christian Muslim situation today.

10 CDs £29.99 11 hours

MP3 CD-Rom £24.99 11 hours

Romeo and Juliet (unabridged)
by William Shakespeare

Discover not only the timeless beauty of Shakespeare’s first tragic masterpiece, but uncover his own story of love and loss as we delve into the worlds of Romeo and Juliet, and the man behind it. Journey back to London in 1591, gripped by plague, and experience the society in which William Shakespeare lives and writes. Our full-cast unabridged production will leave you spell-bound, while our commentary captivates and clarifies.

7 CDs £29.99 8 hours

MP3 CD-Rom £24.99 8 hours

Twelfth Night (unabridged)
by William Shakespeare

The granddaddy of all black comedies is presented as full-cast drama with guided commentary that illuminates Shakespeare’s world. In a period of personal mourning, we shed light on how he created a topsy-turvy world of comic sadness and melancholy humour. With the background in place and the finer points of the language explained, Shakespeare’s vision is fully realised so that his comedy can be whole-heartedly enjoyed. So if you’ve ever wondered how 400 year old jokes can be funny, this is a must!

6 CDs £29.99 7 hours

MP3 CD-Rom £24.99 7 hours

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