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Twelfth Night (No Fear Shakespeare)
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This must be a case of opposites attracting, as Yale releases another duo in its ongoing annotated Shakespeare series. Here the Bard's heaviest drama is paired with one of his lightest comedies. These also include textual notes, essays by Harold Bloom, and other extras. Great for the price. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Gr 9 Up-William Shakespeare's comedy of disguised and deceptive love is entertainingly brought to listeners on these high-quality audiocassettes. Using the complete text from the New Cambridge Shakespeare text, the production presents a full cast of accomplished Shakespearean actors and actresses who skillfully convey the emotion and meaning, confusion and humor of this popular play. When twins Sebastian and Viola are shipwrecked and separated off the coast of Illyria, each believes the other is dead. Viola disguises herself as a boy, becomes a page of Duke Orsinio, and falls in love with him. The Duke is hopelessly in love with Olivia, but she is in the process of mourning her brother's death and becomes infatuated with Viola as she/he delivers messages for the Duke. When Sebastian shows up, Olivia confuses him with the Duke's page (Olivia) and marries the astonished young man. All is cleared up eventually when Viola and Sebatian meet and recognize each other. In the midst of all of this romantic confusion, servants and family members provide comic relief with their pompous, pretentious, and sometimes inebriated behavior. Early English music and excellent sound effects are sparingly included, yet add greatly to this performance. Reading along with the text is optional as the production moves at an easy-to-follow pace, and characterizations are clear and captivating. A booklet with background and a synopsis of the play, photos and descriptions of each cast member, and starting points for each scene on the proper tape side is a useful addition. For its entertainment value or as a supplement to the curriculum, this excellent audioplay is highly recommended.-Marilyn Higgins, Metuchen High School, NJ Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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