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Publisher's Summary

Sir Ian McKellen, fresh from his performance as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, is Prospero, and heads a strong cast in Shakespeare’s last great play. The wronged duke raises a tempest to shipwreck his old opponents on his island so that he can ensure justice is done. With Emilia Fox as Miranda, Scott Handy in the pivotal role of the sprite Ariel, and Ben Owukwe as Caliban, this new production, directed by John Tydeman, balances the magic and the earthiness, with music playing a key role.
Public Domain (P)2004 Naxos AudioBooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jeremy R. Snyder on 02-18-14

A stellar performance by a stunning cast

If you enjoy Shakespeare's comedies you should not miss out on this edition of The Tempest. Sir Ian McKellen as Prospero is everything you might hope for and more, which is no surprise from an actor of his caliber. The remainder of the cast excels similarly and the recording is produced seamlessly. This audio performance is a real treat.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Darwin8u on 12-21-17

Last of the "top-shelf" Shakespeare

Me, poor man, my library
Was dukedom large enough.
- William Shakespeare, The Tempest

The last of the "top-shelf" Shakespeare plays. Those written after are either only partially written by Shakespeare or phoned-in. This one is just a trip and is a director's dream. There is so much room for interpretation and ability to get funky. This year, as I started reading Shakespeare, I saw a high school perform the Tempest and loved it. It was a HS performance for sure, but it translates well to a whole variety of people and ages. For me, the Tempest is next to A Midsummer Night's Dream in tone and style. While I'm usually not a fan of music and Shakespeare, this is one of those plays with its supernatural qualities, where music seems not only appropriate, but essential.

Favorite Lines:

- Hell is empty and all the devils are here. (Act 1, Scene 2)

- Good wombs have borne bad sons. (Act 1, Scene 2)

- You taught me language, and my profit on't
Is, I know how to curse (Act 1, Scene 2)

- So. Lie there, my art. (Act 1, Scene 2)

- Watch out he's winding the watch of his wit, by and by it will strike. (Act 2, Scene 1)

- Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. (Act 2, Scene 2)

- Let us not burthen our remembrance with
A heaviness that's gone. (Act 5, Scene 1)

- I'll break my staff, bury it certain fathoms in the earth, and deeper than did ever plummet sound, I'll drown my book! (Act 5, Scene 1).

- This thing of darkness I Acknowledge mine. (Act 5, Scene 1)

- O, brave new world
that has such people in't! (Act 5, Scene 1)

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mr on 07-24-15

Tempestuous Performance

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Ian McKellen gives an excellent performance as Prospero and the recording really brings the play to life.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Tempest?

Ariel's music and also the way in which characters were brought to life through their own mannerisms and personalities.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

Prospero is the central character and gives an unforgettable performance.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes - I easily could have.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By ColonelJames on 02-13-18

Hard to listen to.

The Tempest is hard to follow at the best of times but there are a few things in this production that really don't help. The first is Ian McKellen. Much of this performance of Prospero is practically whispered by the great actor. It is simply hard to hear his lines a lot of the time, unless you are listening to this in headphones - I was listening in the car and even with the volume right up he was incomprehensible at times. The second problem is the music; the musical settings of the songs are awful and obfuscate the text; they are like a lead weight around the ankles of these lyrics and utterly, utterly tuneless. It is hard to believe they were deemed acceptable.

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