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In this latest Audible Original Drama, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is contemporized with a fresh LGBT twist on the classic play as it explores gender and sexuality.
The setting is suburban England. Miranda is the new and rather strong-minded director in charge of producing Romeo and Juliet for the local amateur dramatics society. In Shakespeare's times, it was common for men to play female roles. But when Jude, a recent university drop-out in his twenties who is unapologetically sure of his sexual preference, is cast in the role of Juliet, suburbia feels uncomfortable. Jude's father is a terrible bully and homophobic. Ray, who is cast as Romeo, is a middle-aged recent divorcé and a failing business owner. To keep his cardboard company from folding, he is dependent on funding from Jude's father. So when life imitates art, and Ray and Jude fall in love, the proverbial .... hits the fan. Violence and tragedy ensue forcing Ray and Jude to go on the run across England.
As the story develops, so do the characters. Jude and Ray discover more things about themselves and who they really are or want to be. Apart from Ray and Jude, I particularly loved Miranda, the play director, who added a lot of hilarity to the play and also has her own tragic story play out.
Beautifully written, this was a very moving, in parts suspenseful, in parts funny, story about prejudice, about attitudes towards same-sex relationships and relationships with an age difference. It contains sex, violence, and strong language.
The voice actors were outstanding, and that applies to the entire cast. Whoever cast these voice artists into their respective roles for this production did a fantastic job. Every character sounded just right and gave the play a fantastic authentic feeling. The production was brilliant, the music was fitting, and the sound effects enhanced the experience.
If you like radio plays you will love this production and you don't need to be a Shakespeare connoisseur to enjoy this adaptation. It was quite different from what I would normally listen to, but I really enjoyed it and finished it in one sitting.
Audiobook was provided for review by the publisher.
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56 of 67 people found this review helpful
STORY (gay romance) - I was looking through a recent Audible sale and came across this book. A modern-day version of Romeo and Juliet with a gay twist, done by Audible with a full acting cast. Hmmm...click, in my library. It was interesting to hear how the story paralleled yet differed from the original version, but I will tell you now that it's for open-minded listeners only!!! I'm not LGBT and don't usually listen to this kind of literature, but I like listening to different things and I'm fine with letting people live their own lives. This book was not offensive to me personally.
Ray (Romeo) and Jude (Juliet) meet while playing their respective roles in a small-town theater, and their roles take a real-life romantic twist. They fall deeply in love despite family and social pressures. See, just like the original but with it's own twist. They recite the romantic lines in the play to each other with genuine emotion, and there is LOTS of male kissing and heavy breathing and references to having sex. Jude occasionally dresses like Juliet even when he is not performing and Ray likes it. Like I said, you must be okay with listening to this kind of relationship or you will be deeply offended by this book. I found it entertaining and definitely worth the time I spent listening to it.
PERFORMANCE - WOW, just WOW. The actors were amazing and the sound effects were perfect. There's music, background noises, everything you could possibly want in a performance and then more. Wish all books were performed this way.
OVERALL - Probably not a book for young listeners or straight males. My husband was not at all impressed by this choice in my library. There is some violence and a fair amount of cursing. This is a deeply emotional male/male romance. It's definitely different, but I enjoyed it.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This isn't quite how I expected it - a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, with Jude instead of Juliet. It's better. In it, a theatrical group put on a performance of Romeo and Juliet, but due to a lack of good actresses, 'Jude' must play Juliet. Romeo is reluctant at first, but over time, they fall in love - and what makes it better, is how their lives out of the play echo Shakespeare's Tragedy, with the difference in families and views.
I've been captivated by it, and have listened to it three times. I really would recommend it.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
I thought I could listen to this over a few days. Day 1 and I was on chapter 11. Truly gripping, brilliantly acted. Amazing. Can't praise enough.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful