Shakespeare's most famous play is one of the greatest stories in the literature of the world.
Distressed by his father's death and his mother's over-hasty remarriage, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is faced by a specter from beyond the grave bearing a grim message of murder and revenge. The young prince is driven to the edge of madness by his struggle to understand the situation he finds himself in and to do his duty. Many others, including Hamlet's beloved, the innocent Ophelia, are swept up in his tragedy.
Hamlet is played by Simon Russell Beale. Imogen Stubbs plays Ophelia, Jane Lapotaire is Gertrude, and Bob Peck is Claudius. Polonius is played by Norman Rodway.
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This was an excellent performance by a solid British cast of one of Shakespeare's best plays. Even the bit players on this recording are good. The scene between Hamlet and his mother is one of the most effective I've ever seen or heard.
The actors all have a great sense not only of drama but of the rhetorical shape of the verse. Aside from Hamlet, Horatio stands out as does Claudius, who is played like a staid and corrupt bishop.
All in all, an excellent audio experience.
- Kevin O'Brien
This is not a reading but an enactment of the play by superb actors with superb vocal talents. All the more importantly, they are clearly Shakespearean trained. They understand what they are saying and their interpretation of the work is most enjoyable
As I say, these are experts in every sense of the work.
Please, this is Hamlet. The film would be called ... Hamlet!
- Norm D' Plume