A gritty reimagining of Shakespeare's famous tragedy - full of passion, emotion, scandal, disillusionment and family fallout.
A brand new modern-day audiobook adaptation of William Shakespeare's classic love story.
Romeo and Jude - starring Owen Teale (Game of Thrones), Matthew Tennyson (Pride), Nick Moran (Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels) and Ricky Norwood (EastEnders).
An amateur dramatics company in a suburban corner of nowhere. Two men with very different lives, brought together when cast in the roles of Romeo and Juliet - 'as Shakespeare would have it', in the words of their eccentric and enigmatic director. Though the elicit romance doesn’t only play out on the stage.
Against the odds, our heroes struggle to keep hold of each other and to keep a handle on real life. As the pressures, threats and expectations of their worlds draw in, per Shakespeare's original, the pithy banter from the first few scenes evaporates away to reveal a very real and present danger...and even tragedy.
Contains strong language and adult themes.
©2015 Audible Ltd. (P)2015 Audible Ltd.
"Wonderful performances pepper this intriguing contemporary twist on Romeo and Juliet.... The full-cast delivers Shakespeare's words and emotions as convincingly as they deliver their off-stage personae.... In the smaller, more intimate, scenes, both plot and characters come alive." (AudioFile)
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"twist on the classic play"
In this latest Audible Original Drama, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is contemporized with a fresh LGBT twist on the classic play as it explores gender and sexuality.
The setting is suburban England. Miranda is the new and rather strong-minded director in charge of producing Romeo and Juliet for the local amateur dramatics society. In Shakespeare's times, it was common for men to play female roles. But when Jude, a recent university drop-out in his twenties who is unapologetically sure of his sexual preference, is cast in the role of Juliet, suburbia feels uncomfortable. Jude's father is a terrible bully and homophobic. Ray, who is cast as Romeo, is a middle-aged recent divorcé and a failing business owner. To keep his cardboard company from folding, he is dependent on funding from Jude's father. So when life imitates art, and Ray and Jude fall in love, the proverbial .... hits the fan. Violence and tragedy ensue forcing Ray and Jude to go on the run across England.
As the story develops, so do the characters. Jude and Ray discover more things about themselves and who they really are or want to be. Apart from Ray and Jude, I particularly loved Miranda, the play director, who added a lot of hilarity to the play and also has her own tragic story play out.
Beautifully written, this was a very moving, in parts suspenseful, in parts funny, story about prejudice, about attitudes towards same-sex relationships and relationships with an age difference. It contains sex, violence, and strong language.
The voice actors were outstanding, and that applies to the entire cast. Whoever cast these voice artists into their respective roles for this production did a fantastic job. Every character sounded just right and gave the play a fantastic authentic feeling. The production was brilliant, the music was fitting, and the sound effects enhanced the experience.
If you like radio plays you will love this production and you don't need to be a Shakespeare connoisseur to enjoy this adaptation. It was quite different from what I would normally listen to, but I really enjoyed it and finished it in one sitting.
Audiobook was provided for review by the publisher.
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"Must be OK hearing male/male romance, kissing, sex"
STORY (gay romance) - I was looking through a recent Audible sale and came across this book. A modern-day version of Romeo and Juliet with a gay twist, done by Audible with a full acting cast. Hmmm...click, in my library. It was interesting to hear how the story paralleled yet differed from the original version, but I will tell you now that it's for open-minded listeners only!!! I'm not LGBT and don't usually listen to this kind of literature, but I like listening to different things and I'm fine with letting people live their own lives. This book was not offensive to me personally.
Ray (Romeo) and Jude (Juliet) meet while playing their respective roles in a small-town theater, and their roles take a real-life romantic twist. They fall deeply in love despite family and social pressures. See, just like the original but with it's own twist. They recite the romantic lines in the play to each other with genuine emotion, and there is LOTS of male kissing and heavy breathing and references to having sex. Jude occasionally dresses like Juliet even when he is not performing and Ray likes it. Like I said, you must be okay with listening to this kind of relationship or you will be deeply offended by this book. I found it entertaining and definitely worth the time I spent listening to it.
PERFORMANCE - WOW, just WOW. The actors were amazing and the sound effects were perfect. There's music, background noises, everything you could possibly want in a performance and then more. Wish all books were performed this way.
OVERALL - Probably not a book for young listeners or straight males. My husband was not at all impressed by this choice in my library. There is some violence and a fair amount of cursing. This is a deeply emotional male/male romance. It's definitely different, but I enjoyed it.
I didn't know it was basically a theatre of the mind. I loved the sound effects, the different voices, the stellar acting. I have already listened to this twice. I need more
This gritty but gorgeous production was beautifully written and acted. I was enthralled from start to finish.
"Definitely More Enjoyable Than the Original"
Of the hundreds of audiobooks I've listened to, this one was definitely among the top 10 for dramatizations. The actors were excellent and brought the story alive for me in a way I probably would not have experienced had I read it or listened to a narrated version. Romeo and Juliet is one of my least favorite Shakespearean plays, and I disliked the few reimaginings I've read more than the original, so the fact that I could like this at all speaks to the power of the performance.
I know that it had to be dramatic to stay true to the original storyline since R&J is a bit over the top, but their last interaction with Tyrone and the subsequent events felt a bit too "The Shining" meets "Thelma and Louise" for my taste. Until this point, the characters felt genuine so there may have been a better way to create the necessary increase in dramatic intensity without making this part of the story and the characters seem orchestrated and trite.
While Ray, Jude and Charlie are fantastic, Miranda stole ever scene in which she appeared.
The filmic flow of the script and the direction of actors and
the ensemble is flawless!
"Better than the original"
Brilliant and uncomfortable. I loved the multiple perspectives. How would you feel given any one of them?
"Just couldn't finish it"
For some reason I just couldn't get into this book. After about halfway through I gave up. Maybe it was the genre. I have been reading a lot of mystery, thriller and fantasy books lately. This one may have been a dose of reality I wasn't ready for at this time. I say all this because I don't want to discourage others from reading/listening to this book. If you like this genre, then you may enjoy it. The narrators are quite good. It's read like a play with scene pauses. I was surprised with how easy it was to picture everything like I was there. Unfortunately, I had to rate it low since I couldn't finish it.
"Wonderful reworking of Shakespeare's classic."
A brilliant modern take on Romeo and Juliet. Writing, direction, performance and editing all top class.
"Far more engaging that I imagined!"
It was a wild ride - challenging quite a bit of my comfort zone, but worth the ride!
"Brilliant - but not how you'd expect it!"
This isn't quite how I expected it - a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, with Jude instead of Juliet. It's better. In it, a theatrical group put on a performance of Romeo and Juliet, but due to a lack of good actresses, 'Jude' must play Juliet. Romeo is reluctant at first, but over time, they fall in love - and what makes it better, is how their lives out of the play echo Shakespeare's Tragedy, with the difference in families and views.
I've been captivated by it, and have listened to it three times. I really would recommend it.
Such a brilliant re-telling, with brilliant acting, a gripping story, and a fitting soundtrack. It pulls you in, and doesn't let you go until the end.
I thought I could listen to this over a few days. Day 1 and I was on chapter 11. Truly gripping, brilliantly acted. Amazing. Can't praise enough.
Loved this story so much.. gripped from start to finish. Funny, witty scary & charming.
"Yes, well I didn't believe the reviews"
I must have close to 300 audio books from Audible and most are well produced, the stories are between quite good and very good. This is the funniest, most interesting book and production I have from Audible. I know it is a gay book but it is so much more and as the story teller says the boys were the girls in Shakespeare's time as girls were not allowed on stage. This deserves 5 stars in all categories.
Now a thought or several thoughts come to mind. Can you imagine a Dream on a Midsummer night and Lysander falling for Bottom or Titania, Queen of the Faries falling for, well need I say. Now I look at Twelfth Night and can you imagine anyone getting so turned on over crossed garters! Perhaps not these days but in the 16th century you just never know. Finally another title might follow on from "As You Like It". There are so many possibilities in that play that it could take the author years to complete but how juicy, how naughty, how absolutely delicious! I know your readers might think me mad but it does get the old grey cells thinking.
Buy it, listen to it and just very simply enjoy it whether you are straight or gay. Most straight guys can imagine themselves put in such an awkward embarasing position and shy completely away from the book but can they stop themselves from secretely reading (listening) and funnily enjoying such a well written book.
To the author, thank you.
Honestly was not expecting this to be as good as it was. Couldn't stop listening, and finished it all in one day. Just when you think the story can't escalate any further, it takes you along another twist. Great performances from everyone involved.
"Absolutely beautiful tale of love and loss"
Just like the classic play this audio drama explores themes of love and star crossed lovers in a very pure and refreshing way. The LGBTQ twist is always a nice thing to see and I loved every bit of it. The voices, the writing, everything. Perfection.
"Slow start hides the exquisite depths"
Things started so slowly that I abandoned it for some weeks. Curiosity lead me back, and I'm so glad that it did.
Can I skip the slower passages? Not without missing something of the story. As annoying as it was, it was entirely necessary for a rounded picture.
Could there have been a teaser of the developing story to stave off early boredom? Quite possibly, I think one scene in particular could have been aluded to without the risk of spoilers.
Is the story worth returning to? Yes, treasure awaits if you're prepared to stick out the first few scenes.
Did you become so engaged by the main characters that you became a blubbery mess at times and went white-knuckled with suspense at others? Yes, a few times.
Is this story suitable for everyone? No. It probes gender issues, and there will (sadly) always be people who are offended by that. I think that it can be enjoyed by anyone with an open mind and a heart familiar with passion, though not always comfortably.
Would you listen again? I will, and most likely a few times.
"Absolutely gripping modern tragedy"
I love finding compelling dramas in audio format. Audible original dramatizations that I've listened to have been very good. this was no exception. I got through the whole thing in 3 sittings.
"Sad it had to end."
Story was so gripping I missed my bus stop. Owen Teale's voice is gorgeous.
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