Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
While this witty and erudite play text provides both entertainment and intellectual challenge, problems with the production rather spoiled my enjoyment.
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
This isn't really relevant to a drama text.
What aspect of the narrators’s performance might you have changed?
Well, this isn't an audiobook, but an audio production of a play, so there are multiple voices. Here lies my main problem. As a UK listener, I could not suspend my disbelief in the English accents of some of the American actors playing British roles. They weren't terrible, and a US listener might not have a problem with this aspect of the performance. However, it is not just a matter of pronunciation or vowel sounds. Sentences were stressed in an unidiomatic way, and meaning was sometimes lost.There are some complex mathematical and intellectual ideas presented here, so clarity of meaning is important.
The play is split into two time frames, that of the 18th century juxtaposed with a modern setting. It seems to me that the actors chosen for the 18th century sections were native Brits (or if not, American actors with impeccable accents and delivery.) The contemporary sections are voiced with American actors who can't quite get it right. The production also sounds under-rehearsed in the contemporary sections, with some rather emotionally unvaried performances.
There are also some visual effects which are hard to reproduce in audio format, which could have been edited out.
I have listened to many LA Theatre Works offerings and they are generally excellent. Even the Ayckbourn plays with mixed US/British casts are almost completely convincing. This was a disappointment.
Was Arcadia worth the listening time?
Not entirely. This is a stimulating but complex text which is nearly 3 hours in length. It needs better acting and direction in parts to justify the committment from the listener.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I was a little reluctant to listen based on previous reviews about the accents of the American actors. I eventually bought it as I wanted to hear a dramatic performance and found it on the whole an enjoyable experience. You would have to be very picky to find the accents annoying so if you are doubtful like I was then go for it and don't be put off.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
There are some very good things about this recording. It's clear, entrances and exits are by and large well delineated. It makes sense, allowing for the complexity and farcical nature of the narrative. The fact that a significant character who never speaks may or may not be in the room is a problem for any audio adaptation.
It is unfortunate, however, that a very significant character bears the surname Nightingale. Pronounced in English English with almost equal stress on all 3 syllables, pronounced by these actors as a dactyl (NITE-n-gale) with the last two syllables swallowed. Consequently, every time the character is referred to, I wince, and that, and other pronunciation infelicities, makes this an unhappy listening experience. I suppose if you don't know it's wrong, it doesn't matter. Maybe calling General Powell COLL-INN, not colon, seems very wrong to American listeners.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Excellent play and most of the actors good but some of the accents a bit dodgy. The people playing Bernard and especially Chloe mispronounce Nightingale every time and their accents are wobbly. Chloe sounds a bit like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. the actors playing Hannah and Thomasina are very good.
Excellent but you need a copy of the written play to follow it, especially the last scene since the stage directions, which are not read outloud in this recording, play a crucial role, keeping that in mind it is a great play and very well performed.
Would you consider the audio edition of Arcadia (Dramatized) to be better than the print version?
Although the question of comparing a printed version to the audio edition is somewhat strange, as it is a play, I prefer the audio version of Arcadia.
Any additional comments?
A great, great play - heartily recommended. Stoppard at his finest.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful