New audiobook project for Richard Armitage: Romeo & Juliet

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~ by Servetus on August 20, 2016.

67 Responses to “New audiobook project for Richard Armitage: Romeo & Juliet”

  1. Gag. ducks

    • Pleading the Fifth.

      • I am positive that my opinion on this will be in a tiny minority, but I am not among the ranks of the gaga for Shakespeare. Maybe if he read Pyramus and Thisbe I’d be slightly more enthused 😝

        • I wonder if he’s ever thought about doing a musical audiobook. he could sing all the parts in West Side Story. I’d love to hear him sing “America.”

        • but cheer up, it once again is not actually Shakespeare that he’s doing.

          • I’ll just wait for the phonebook 😜

            • I heard it’s particularly inspiring, the way he reads four solid pages of Schmidts after four solid pages of Ramirezes.

              • LOL.

                That said, I’m happy for all who’ve been hoping for this.

                • Particularly for the people who were hoping for Mid Life Crisis and won’t get to see LLL.

                  • Yes!

                  • ouch, please don’t poke the MLC sore, its still fresh snifffff

                    • Sorry!! 😦 I’m still burning a candle for that one — maybe it will be delayed long enough that he can reattach to it. OTOH it looks like he unfollowed the songwriter.

                    • i was hanging on to that hope too 🙂 for a while, but i don’t think he’s somebody who backtracks or spend time with regrets, seems to me he moves on to new work. Actors probably learn to do that and cope with this type of change better than us. I’ve put it under ‘too good to be true’ , he doesn’t seem to drift towards anything that tickles my ‘fun’ part. Which is ok 🙂 I go and watch a 200 year old ballet when i desperately need that in a performance 🙂 It feels as if with age he gravitates less and less towards lighter subjects, which i guess is also natural. I just need to get a dose of escapism somewhere else 🙂

                    • yeah — I don’t think lighthearted is really his bag.

  2. I never read Hamlet, but I loved his narration of it. I hated pausing it, and looked forward to picking it up again. It was like watching the whole play in my mind. Looking forward to his Romeo and Juliet. I think I will be much more interested than I was when reading it in high school.

    • I’m guessing that will be the majority reaction to this announcement!

      • Oh, I wish something would happen this weekend to cheer you up a bit. It’s been a rough couple of days.

        • This didn’t really happened this weekend; the confirmation just dropped this weekend. The rumors have been around for weeks. This project ticks no boxes in terms of interest or excitement for me. However, I’ve got Berlin Station and LLL to look forward to so I’m keeping my attention on those things.

        • But I should also say — I may not like it, but I don’t hate it either. It’s not Hannibal or Bridget Cleary. It’s just a project I’m not interested in.

  3. If Shakespeare, I would have preferred something else, ( Antony & Cleopatra is a favorite of mine or even The Taming of the Shrew, Merchant) but I’m excited about it, and also curious and cautious, because I really liked the way Hartley and Hewson novelized Macbeth and Hamlet ( far better, more complex plays) so I am wondering how it will go without Hartley, who’s the Shakespeare guy and with only Hewson, more of a suspense writer. Which makes me wonder why, if they’re not using the Shakespearean, they’ve decided to stick with Shakespeare? The fight scenes should be good and there should be an explanation of what the feud was about – I’ve always wondered. But best of all, it’s not more Dickens.

    • Oh I am definitely not looking forward to Bridget Cleary. I hope it goes the way of Summer.

    • Dickens: true dat.

      In general, my feelings about Shakespeare have never been tied up with the plots, but with the language, and I think that is always going to be at issues for me with these adaptations. In contrast to Hewson, I don’t think that the original Hamlet suffered from not playing up its action elements enough. I have a lot of respect for what I know of Hewson, I just don’t think this is going to be my bag. On the whole, I might be in the audience for a high literary or philosophical adpatation, but am probably not in the audience for a literalist adaptation that tries to make the plays more “exciting.”

      true re: fight scenes in R & J.

      and yeah, I’ll probably buy it and at least try it.

  4. Read R & J in Jr. HS and watched the 1967ish version. Listening to RA read it will be the highlight.

    • The Zefferelli film with Olivia Hussey as Juliet? That’s a fantastic film.

      • Yes, the Zefferelli film. I remember a room full of teenage boys and Olivia Hussey bending over the balcony. Oh, wolf-whistles in the comments in the room. I recently came across a 1936 version with Leslie Howard and Norma Shearer on TCM. I just couldn’t get past the casting of these two actors who were in their late 20’s and early thirties playing two teenagers.

        • Should have read, the wolf-whistle comments in the room.

        • We watched that in 9th grade and we had to have a permission slip because there was brief nudity.

          I don’t know much about this, but I wonder if earlier film audiences were more accustomed to seeing good actors in roles as opposed to actors who looked their roles? I recently watched Sense and Sensibility again and wondered why they cast Emma Thompson — even though she was great in the role.

          • I saw the Olivia Hussey film in high school and loved it too. Also read the play. I guess I’m more of a purist. I haven’t listened to the Hamlet yet because I think I would prefer something closer to the original. As for RA reading Romeo and Juliet, I can’t quite imagine the doomed love between young teenagers being read by someone in his forties, even with his abilities. But I’ll probably end up listening anyway.

            • If you enjoy the philosophical speculation and the monologues as much as I do, the Hewson/Hartley adaptation is problematic. I do think it makes the conflicts that drive the plot more apparent than they would be if you just read the play — so in that sense, they have probably provided a valuable service. You also get a fuller sense of the historical background (Hewson is quite good at that). I’ve listened to it about four times. But in the end I’d rather read the play or watch a film. I saw the Olivier one again on TCM recently, and enjoyed it a lot.

          • That is a good question and point. I think back then the name of an actor was a big draw to get people to see the film. There are plenty of duds the Hollywood machine was pushing out with many fine actors attached. I remember seeing a 1940’s version of Pride and Prejudice with Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier. While it is a fine story, it was too Hollywoodized and the costumes were awful. Come on, Elizabeth Bennett did not dress like a southern belle. Not to mention the two lead characters were in their 30’s. I also take issue with June Allyson playing Jo March in Little Women. Why did they need to cast another 30 y/o woman?

            I believe Emma Thompson was the screenwriter and I did question her casting – even though she was great in the film. Such a big age gap between her and Kate Winslet and it was something I grew to ignore because I love the movie so much.

            • so I suppose the strategy worked on some level. I think our capacity for “willing suspension of disbelief” for realistic roles might have been higher in the past. Or when Emma Thompson is in the film, lol 🙂

              • Touche. I am a realist and seeing John Wayne, Alec Guiness, and Kate Hepburn playing Asian characters makes me cringe.

                In the end Emma Thompson walked away with an Oscar for Best Adaptive screenplay and married Greg Wise who played Willouby.

                • That bothers me, too — but I am more troubled on a political than on an aesthetic level, if that makes any sense. Given that there are fewer and less diverse roles for (say) Asian actors, I feel they should cast an Asian because they can — but in terms of me needing to see an Asian face to believe that a character is Asian, that is somewhat less of a problem for me.

            • That Pride and Prejudice version was awful. Even L.O. and G.G. didn’t save it. However, in It’s own time, our perception probably would have been very different. I do love the Emma Thompson Sense and Sensibility. I’d never been bothered by the age thing, I think against Hugh Grant it worked fine. Plus, Alan Rickman was great in it. There is also a BBC miniseries version from 2008 I like very much.

  5. I’m not a great fan of audiobooks, so little enthusiasm from me.

  6. Of all the Shakespeare, it just had to be R&J. Ugh. Blegh. Yuck.

    • LOL. It’s definitely a tossup — which play did we hate more in 9th grade, R&J or Julius Caesar? (Not saying everyone hated them — just that I remember how much complaining there was at the time).

      • Personally, I have worked on both shows (which meant having to hear/ watch them AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN) and the only one of the two that made me actively want to be literally anywhere else possibly enduring dental torture was R&J.

      • I struggled with Dicken’s – specifically A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. I can appreciate them now, but as a 14 y/o, not so much.

        • For a long time I think everyone read Great Expectations in 9th grade in the US — or everyone I knew of, anyone. I think we were supposed to identify with Pip.

  7. I’m actually looking forward to this since I like Shakespeare and think that Richard Armitage will be able to do a lot with the highly emotional content this specific story will certainly have.
    But I must also admit that in general I prefer films / series to audio books. I find it somewhat difficult to concentrate on them and prefer reading myself.

    • There are at least a few fans who follow along with the text while he’s reading — although that’s hard if the adaptation novel comes out after the audiobook.

  8. OT but does anybody now where the picture was taken?

    Re the audiobook, I saw Branagh’s interpretation of R&J at the Garrick last month. This could be quite good I think, I liked what Hewson did with Macbeth. Yet somehow I would appreciate something lighter at the moment. Another Heyer (Frederica) or maybe an audio play, I’d like to hear RA reading an adventure story together with e.g. Toby Stephens, Helen Mirren, Emma Thompson or others.

    I think he also still needs to do a Pixar voiceover 😉

  9. I am a huge fan of RA’s audiobooks. So I pre-ordered ‘Romeo&Juliet’ right after I opened Twitter today morning and saw the announcement from David Hewson. Like ‘Hamlet’ by Hewson and Hatley. Hope novelized ‘R&J’ by Hewdon will be good too.

  10. funny, i will never know why i like his audiobooks best… there are still plenty of his things i have and have not seen yet, but i devoured all the audio stuff although i am still a paper-book person when i can be or kindle. I am most enchanted by him when i listen (well, maybe except for the love poems which i have never managed to make myself write about) It could be because i like music in general and deep male voices in particular, who knows.

    Still what he chose to read in general is probably not my first choice of books. I loved Hamlet and there were things i learned to love and ended up feeling very touched by with DC. RJ would not be my choice of Shakespeare at all, not at my age anyway. But since it is not exactly that it will probably be a suspenseful, interesting read. With Shakespeare i would prefer to see him on stage anyway rather than listen, it’s the only place it really comes alive.

    I liked Hamlet, the novel, very different than the play, enjoyable in it’s own way and very differently from the play. Of which i have just seen the most recent at the RSC and it was simply brilliant! Full of colour, startlingly so and they made some very successful choices. A great production, superbly acted.
    I think i also like the audiobooks because i am in control, don’t have to wait, record, go anywhere and can take it all in with all senses without any distractions, noises, etc. Books and audio stuff/music have always been the only way to bubble up completely from the outside world, at least for me, so maybe this is the only way to take him with me in the bubble.

    • amen to Armitage on stage in Shakespeare. Which would more or less exclude R&J as possibility — or maybe he could play Tybalt.

  11. Shakespeare again… sigh

  12. Waves from the ranks of the deliriously happy majority =)

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