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Romeo and Juliet

Written by: William Shakespeare
Length: 2 hrs and 50 mins
Categories: Classics, Shakespeare

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Publisher's Summary

Here is the full-cast production of Shakespeare's classic love story, fully dramatized from the complete text, and starring Michael Sheen as Romeo and Kate Beckinsale as Juliet.

Public Domain (P)1997 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.

What listeners say about Romeo and Juliet

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shelly M. Felton
  • 13-07-08

Sound Quality is the only drawback

The sound quality of this production made me imagine someone propping a microphone in front of a television showing Romeo & Juliet being performed. It's tinny-sounding, and there are background sounds of birds, wind, feet scuffling, etc, which dilute and diminish the voices to a small degree. It's not unbearable, just a bit distracting.
On the positive side, the actors are very good. Listening to this play was different from reading it on paper, or seeing it performed live... I caught different strands of relationship between the characters. The Nurse, played by Fiona Shaw, was especially brilliant.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 15-09-03

Great Language

Romeo and Juliet is one of my favorite Shakespearean works. The language is so beautiful and the voices bring out the wonderfulness of the book. The full cast is the best way to listen to a book on tape. They even have celebrity readers (Kate Beckinsale: Pearl Harbor, Serendipity). If you like Shakespeare, romance, or tragedy than this is a great choice. If not, this is still worthwhile just for the beautiful language.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Charlotte
  • 12-12-11

MICHAEL SHEEN FREAKING ROCKS!!!

Would you consider the audio edition of Romeo and Juliet to be better than the print version?

WITHOUT DOUBT, THIS RENDITION OF R+J WAS THE BEST I HAVE EVERY EXPERIENCED! I majored in theatre and so I have seen more than my fair share of Shakespeare interpretations. This audiobook version has revived my passion for this play and I no have a renewed sense of interest in the performers. I am anxious to see what they produce next!!!

Any additional comments?

MORE MICHAEL SHEEN, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ron
  • 18-11-10

Better than school

I have to teach this play in a continuation high school and the combination of excellent sound effects and superbly spoken text make this audiobook an ideal vehicle to bring the play to the students.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lauren Freston
  • 11-09-10

Good for classroom use

I use this audio to allow students to follow the story while still using their imagination. However, the kiss is so cheesy that we had to stop the tape and let the class laugh for a long time. A year later, they still chuckle over that kiss.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kade Selene Corvinus
  • 04-02-20

Michael and Kate; Romeo and Juliet

Here we have a wonderfully-immersive dramatization by a full cast of eminently/talented British thespians-1aided by a dash of haunting music and sound effects—of the greatest tragic romance of all time. Honestly, the sound quality could have been a bit better, but of course the recording was made some time ago now; at the turn of the millennium. The instrumental bookends and wind in the crypt poignantly evoke the passage of centuries. Romeo’s lament that “there is no world without Verona walls” hearkens back to a time when the world was far larger and more mysterious, and to journey even so near as a neighboring city could be a perilous and onerous undertaking. Fear of the unknown persists evermore, of course, as humans remain creatures of habit and prone to homesickness even in our hyperconnected era. I love that the parts of Romeo and Juliet were played by a real couple, Michael Sheen and Kate Beckinsale having been romantically involved for years at the time of this recording in 2001. Though their relationship ended a couple years later, they remain close friends and share a wonderful daughter, Lily. This listen was the first time I’d spent with any version of the story in over a decade, when I read in high school the original play and viewed the daringly unorthodox Leonardo DiCaprio/Claire Danes adaptation, which transposes the original language, verbatim, into a modern setting, as has been done exceedingly few times, Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus being another example. I shall always clearly recall how fascinated I was with this juxtaposition, and how struck with anger at fate’s cruelty as Leonardo’s Romeo and Claire’s Juliet despair upon realizing their heartwrenching mistake in their final moments. Even knowing the outcome in advance, their cinematically-visceral rendition cut deep, and will likely always be the one which affects me most. My teacher graciously lent me the DVD to watch at home on my laptop since I was desperate to see the whole film at once, rather than watch it piecemeal across several class periods. As promised, I arrived early the next morning to return it to him so that he could continue the viewings for his other classes. Our English class also watched Zeffirelli’s traditional period version for comparison, which emphasized the universality of the human experience and condition across time and place. As men and nature alike conspire always against lasting happiness, we craft and cling to stories such as this so as to affirm to ourselves that with true and great effort, we may yet find true and great love—even if for only but a glorious glimmer of a magical moment. Michael, Kate, and cast are forever amongst the ranks of the many thousands who have honored this timeless story, in land after land, generation after generation. Retold thousands of times—including by the Bard himself, who is not, in fact, its originator!—it will be retold for thousands of years. One day, the immortal tale of the all-too-mortal star-cross’d lovers will be staged among the stars, and all the universal Earth will be in love with night.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hollis R. Scott
  • 02-01-12

Great for classroom use

Any additional comments?

I bought this book for my students' use. As we listened the sound effects and emotional readings allowed everyone to understand just what was going on. My 9th grade students have a particularly difficult time understanding Shakespearean English and anything that can help is a great treasure to my teaching arsenal.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • 12-03-13

Romeo & Juliet

Where does Romeo and Juliet rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

As for this recording, it's professional, for sure. The actors go a bit too fast (which tends to suck the meaning and sencerity out) so if I listen to it again I'll slow it down so I can get more out of the words. I'm glad for these recordings. I'd never be able to do all the reading I want if I had to actually only read these long ones. Thanks Audible!!

What did you like best about this story?

Well, who doesn't like Shakespeare? But some story lines are meatier than others. This one starts out as a comedy and ends up quite the opposite. Ends as a cautionary tale. Parents beware! You got plans for your kids? Hopes are good, but concrete plans that your kid will do this, or that, when they grow up... Well, look out!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Emma
  • 04-05-13

Absolutely beautiful and exquisite!

This was the first time I listened to an audiobook version of the play.

To say I was impressed and moved by the cast's rendition is an understatement!
The characters, particulary Romeo and Juliet, are acted beautifully and the character of the Nurse is especially enjoyable!

I was immediately transported into the realm of Shakespeare and was lost there until the audiobook had reached its ending. To cut it short: Buy this audiobook, it's worth every penny and is beautiful to listen to!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Philip
  • 21-01-08

The best so far...

This is the best of the Romeo and Juliets that I have heard- it's well played, absorbing and well paced; in that I felt it was particually faithful to the Elizabethan stage- there was no obtrusive attempt to set scenes within a sound-scape ( not that there is anything wrong with this- the BBC ones tend to do it superbly, but if you have a few seconds of backround noise before a scene begins it does hold up the action) and the scenes are often divided just by the sound of a rapier swipe- just as one would imagine the scenes following hot on the heels of each other in the original staging- and of course the play itself is about rush and the lack of time.

Fiona Shaw is good as the nurse (though to be honest the BBC nurse is slightly better) and Anton Lesser made a more than usually sympathetic Mecutio. He did the 'queen Mab' speech very well, but rather underplayed his death scene.

Frances Barber made a convincingly harsh Lady Capulet- but the acoustics made me wonder if she was actually occupying the same space as the other actors- incidentally her Cleopatra (BBC radio) is even better..

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Birgit
  • 13-04-13

A beautiful rendition

This is my first audio version of the play. I expected quality considering the cast, but it has far surpassed my expectations with a brilliant rendering of the play. In particular the title characters, Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio and lady Capulet impress me.

The dialogue is beautifully spoken. It's quite simply a joy to listen to.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dr Mark Thomas
  • 07-09-20

Not to be

Poor audio quality on this one and poorly chaptered that really hurts what were actually some well delivered performances. I'd skip this one to be honest.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Greta Evans
  • 24-10-19

Beautiful .

such a timeless classic and performed really well. Theatrical music also enjoyed in background. Truelove

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 18-10-19

A beautiful, timeless story

Romeo and Juliet is obviously a beautiful and timeless tragic work that feels as relevant now as it must has done hundreds of years ago. The language was amazingly rich and the development of the character, especially Juliet felt real and convincing. This is the first Shakespeare play I have listen to and was a little apprehensive before starting however I found it very engaging and understandable. The only issue I would point to was the recording quality at times it felt a little fuzzy there fore I have knocked off one star. I'm not sure of the age of the recording but I often found myself having to turn up the volume to try and catch what was going on. Especially in busy loud scenes with lots of background noise such as the fights. Say that the acting was superb especially Romeo and Juliet whose characters were delivered with such passion, a notably moving performance was Romeo's death scene. Other highlights include fantastic performances by Lady Caplet upon finding the dead Juliet and Mercutio delivering the Queen Man speech. Overall a very enjoyable listen!

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • soo jay
  • 18-04-16

An excellent performance.

This recording is perfectly clear and uses only a minimum of sound effects, which help convey the action. The acting, especially in the roles of Juliet, Romeo, the Nurse, and Friar Laurance, is remarkably good. Perfect for study or entertainment.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • FB
  • 09-03-15

Don't waste your money!

Terrible sound quality! This has been around in CD format for a while. Re-mastery sorely needed. The voices can hardly be heard through the din of the phoney sword play.

1 person found this helpful