From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Shakespeare's legendary tragedy is revisited in this spirited and entertaining production that ran in London from November 2007 to February 2008. The flawless, talented cast features Ewan McGregor as the conniving Iago, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Othello (whose performance won him the Olivier Award as best actor) and Kelly Reilly as Desdemona. There is also excellent support from Tom Hiddleston (as Cassio) and Michelle Fairley (as Emilia). This audio production is a rousing, theatrical performance expertly guided by director Michael Grandage. Complete with a musical score as well as full sound effects and background noises, listening is so enjoyable that the play speeds by at breakneck pace. An enclosed booklet contains color photographs of the production and a well-written essay by drama professor Russell Jackson. There's also an entertaining bonus DVD disc featuring interviews with the cast and crew. Brilliantly produced in all departments, listening is the next best thing to seeing it live. (July)
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From School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up-Naxos AudioBooks' top-drawer Classic Drama Series blissfully continues with this exquisite rendition of Othello starring Hugh Quarshie, Anton Lesser, Emma Fielding, and a full cast of professional English actors with extensive credits in the Royal National Theatre, BBC Radio Drama Company, and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Shakespeare's most domestic tragedy is an exceedingly complex journey through jealousy, self-doubt, inadequacies, and societal acceptance. Passed over for military promotion, Iago, perhaps Shakespeare's most nefarious character, manipulates Othello's downfall, culminating in the murder of his beloved wife, Desdemona, and Othello's subsequent suicide. Under David Timson's stewardship as director, the story is beautifully and simply told, embellished only with intermittent brassy flourishes of classical music and a dramatic echo effect and throbbing heart beat to underscore Othello's chaotic descent and rage. While the entire cast is excellent, the trio of Quarshie (Othello), Lesser (Iago), and Fielding (Desdemona) are outstanding. An outline of each individual cassette, complete synopsis, full notes regarding the text, and cast biographies are included in a compact 24-page supplemental booklet. For all collections.-Barry X. Miller, Austin Public Library, TX
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