Extended Audio Sample

Richard Burton's Hamlet Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Richard Burtons Hamlet, by William Shakespeare
3.27 out of 53.27 out of 53.27 out of 53.27 out of 53.27 out of 5 3.27 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Shakespeare Narrator: Richard Burton and a full cast Publisher: Paul Brownstein Productions Format: Original Staging Audiobook Audio Length: Release Date:
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This production of Hamlet, directed by Sir John Gielgud and starring Richard Burton, was recorded in the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York City during a spectacular season for Broadway. It was the year of Carol Channing's Hello Dolly, Barbra Streisand's Funny Girl, and Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park. Noel Coward, Arthur Miller and Alec Guinness were also on the Great White Way that year. But the show that created the most excitement was Richard Burton's Hamlet. Given the importance of the show, a film was made of a single performance. At Burton's insistence, after screening the film for just two days, all copies were destroyed except for one that went to the British Film Institute and one that went to Burton's home. 25 years after the stage production, Burton's widow allowed this audio recording to be made from her copy. This performance differs from other recordings of Hamlet, not only because of Burton and Gielgud, but because it is a live recording of an actual performance on Broadway, not in a recording studio.

You get the immediacy of a live production of Hamlet on Broadway in the nervousness of the actors, knowing that they can't go back on it, that this is for all time, unlike films, where you can if you make a mistake go back and do it again. The particular intensity and nerves of this is probably the same kind of thing that excites a real audience in a real theatre. - Richard Burton

For more informative lectures about this work, don't miss A Study Guide to Hamlet.

Or, listen to a conversation with Professor Harold Bloom. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Reviews

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Review by Alexander | 5/23/2011

    " <sub> while i do find shakespear engaging, that is once the teacher translates of course (god bless sparknotes). However i find it rushed, and lengthy.
    I much preferred Othello. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Review by Benjamin | 5/23/2011

    " You can't see/read this play enough. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Review by Alicia | 5/22/2011

    " This edition is really great for teaching Hamlet. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Review by Heather | 5/21/2011

    " Perhaps my favorite Shakespeare play. The subject of many papers, Hamlet is one of the most complex characters in all of literature. He is tragic, funny, and lovable. The characters, plot, and writing are all magnificent. "

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About the Author
Author William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (1564–1616), English poet and dramatist of the Elizabethan and early Jacobean period, is the most widely known author in all of English literature and often considered the greatest. He was an active member of a theater company for at least twenty years, during which time he wrote many great plays. Plays were not prized as literature at the time, and Shakespeare was not widely read until the middle of the eighteenth century, when a great upsurge of interest in his works began that continues today.