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Publisher's Summary

BBC Radio has a unique heritage when it comes to Shakespeare. Since 1923, when the newly formed company broadcast its first full-length play, generations of actors and producers have honed and perfected the craft of making Shakespeare to be heard.

Some of the most stirring scenes Shakespeare ever wrote vibrate with powerful resonance in this grippingly dramatic radio production. Tortured madness, pure evil, and the fatal struggle for power grip the listener until the final, shockingly tragic conclusion.

Revitalised, original, and comprehensive, this is Shakespeare for the new millennium.

©2001 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2001 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What listeners say about King Lear

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • M. W. Roberts
  • 11-02-10

A Double Tragedy

Like the other BBC Radio Shakespeare plays I've purchased (7 or so), the sound quality, production, acting and music are brilliant. In particular, William Houston's performance of Edmund is fantastic. However, as always, BBC omits very large portions of the dialog - some of the best lines - and this is so unacceptable and maddening. Let's consider what kind of person listens to audio dramatizations of Shakespeare: would any of us accept anything less than a strict adherence to Shakespeare's script?

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • D.B. Cooper, Jr.
  • 07-07-10

Shameful!

I find the practice of arbitrarily cutting and editing parts of a play, especially one on the magnitude of King Lear, not only astoundingly disrespectful toward the author/writer, but an act of supreme arrogance and condescension. Shakespeare wrote soliloquies and speeches for the characters for a reason. To randomly cut away the lines as the editor(s) and actors deem fit is repulsive and utterly shameful. I suppose these arrogant and haughty creatures will shrug their collective shoulders in indifference and proclaim that "we can do what we please". So can the purchasing customer: let's show these pompous buffoons that their conceit has consequences by boycotting BBC made productions. Only then, when their financial bottom line is threatened, they may humbly render a true performance of a literary masterpiece. Save your money on this one; it's a chopped-up version of King Lear, not King Lear.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dr. Joe de Beauchamp
  • 28-04-20

Lear

excellent rendition of King Lear. The BBC performance of this helped me get through King Lear, as opposed to various movies or written text. they made it come alive and very interesting.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • John McGovern
  • 05-04-17

great play, cast

redgrave is phenomenal as Lear. Kent, Gloucester, the fool and Edgar are also wonderful. highly recommend

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Teadrinker
  • 26-04-13

Good Way to Understand Shakespeare

This BBC series of dramatized Shakespeare's plays is very good. It's so much easier to understand when there are multiple voices, almost as good as a play.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • R
  • 12-09-10

Rather Good Methinks

A very good dramatisation; I enjoyed it greatly. The diction is lovely.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wolfie's Wibbles
  • 19-02-20

A timeless piece with fantastic acting

I really enjoyed the acting and the extra sound production was really well done too